Electricity Metering and the Protection of consumers

From the information available on the NERC website (extract from website attached as a separate document) and the relevant NERC Regulation “Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulation 2018 (Regulation No. NERC/R/112)” (copy of Regulation retrieved from the NERC website and

attached as a separate document), meters are NOT free. Customers pay for meters but such payments are not to be done upfront. How the customers pay for the meter is that the cost of the meter is included in the electricity bill over the course of say 10 years. So the cost of the meter is distributed gradually within that period so that it is easy for the customer to bear. The upfront payment currently charged by the DISCOs where meters are paid at the point of collection is burdensome to customers and is not the intent of the NERC Regulation.

Asking the customers to make payment for meters at the point of collecting meters may seem contrary to the provisions of the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulation (Regulation 11 and 12) however, Regulation 17 (3) provides as follows: “Upon the installation of a meter by a MAP, the Customer has an obligation to pay for metering service charge through the Distribution Licensee at the time of payment for energy unless financed upfront in full by the Customer. The payment for metering service charge by the Customer to the MAP shall cease upon full amortization of the meter asset over its technical life assumed in the procurement process for the MAP.” Regulation 18 (1) also provides “Where a Customer elects to pay for a meter asset upfront under this Regulations, such a Customer shall not be liable for the payment of metering service charge through the Distribution Licensee.” It therefore seems that though the Regulation recommends that payment is distributed over an extended period, it also makes allowance for the meter to be financed upfront in full by the customer. The customer should therefore be the one to elect for an upfront payment of the meter and such upfront payment should not be imposed by the DISCO.

It is disheartening however that consumers either have no clear sight of the Government’s policy on metering or are at the mercy of DISCOs as highlighted in recent media reports for example the above article in The Cable Newspaper of 2 December (https://www.thecable.ng/fg-threatens-to-sanction-discos-selling-prepaid-meters) and also a November 2 report by The Punch proclaiming a mass “free” metering program by the Government! (https://punchng.com/fg-to-spend-n269-38bn-on-six-million-free-meters/)

Despite the provisions of the NERC Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulation, consumers are paying for meters upfront and are not being reimbursed. JURITRUST Centre is calling NERC and the Nigerian Competition and Consumer Commission to wake up to their responsibilities as watchdogs and stop this ripping off.

We suggest that a timeline should be set by NERC for DISCOs to reimburse customers who have paid upfront for meters. Meanwhile Complaints of this nature by consumers should be addressed first to the Customer Service emails of the DISCO e.g for Ikeja Electric - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and copied NERC – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download here the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission Meter Asset Provider Regulations 2018