The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Friday insisted that electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) must not increase tariffs of customers enjoying less than 12 hours of power supply daily.
Mr Dafe Akpeneye, NERC Commissioner, Legal Licensing and Compliance, made the clarification during the regulatory agency’s online town hall meeting with customers on the new electricity tariff regime.
The DisCos had on Sept. 1 announced the implementation of new Service Reflective Tariff Plan (SRT) across their franchise areas.
The DisCos said the classes of customers had been categorised into five bands with bands D and E who were not enjoying 12 hours daily power supply not affected by the new tariff plan.
However, Akpeneye, who was responding to claims by some customers that the DisCos were not adhering to the increment terms, maintained that those below 12 hours supply daily should not experience any increment.
He explained that the hours and bands were decided by the commission after consultations but customers were assigned to the bands by the DisCos.
Akpeneye said:”Anyone who is enjoying less than 12 hours of electricity must not have their tariffs increased.
“Customers who receive electricity service below the band they have been assigned can have the DisCos move them to the actual band of electricity service they receive.
“Unhappy? Contest the band classification you have been assigned.”
He said in order to protect unmetered customers from exploitation by the DisCos, NERC came up with “Parity with Neighbours”.
“This is the principle we are applying with unmetered customers. It basically means as an unmetered customer, you cannot be charged more than your metered neighbour,”the commissioner said.
Akpeneye also disclosed that NERC had mandated all DisCos to invest in infrastructure in order to increase power supply to customers.