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NERC slams 11 electricity companies N10.5bn fine over overbilling of unmetered consumers

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has imposed a sanction of N505 286,072 billion on eleven power distribution companies in Nigeria due to their non-compliance with the capping of estimated bills for unmetered customers. This information was revealed in a statement released by NERC on its official handle on Friday. As part of the sanction, the commission has directed DisCos to issue credit adjustments to all overbilled unmetered customers from January to September 2023 by the March 2024 billing cycle. NERC stated that a review of the DisCos’ billing of unmetered customers for 2023 showed non-compliance with the monthly energy caps issued by the commission.

The commission had introduced the Order on Capping of Estimated Bills in 2020, with subsequent monthly energy caps aimed at aligning the estimated bills for unmetered customers with the measured consumption of metered customers on the same supply feeder. In response to the non-compliance, the commission issued the Order on Non-Compliance with Capping of Estimated Bills under Section 34(1)(d) of the Electricity Act 2023. This order includes the requirement for DisCos to issue credit adjustments to overbilled unmetered customers and publish the list of credit adjustment beneficiaries in national dailies and on their websites by 31 March 2024. Furthermore, the commission stipulated a deduction of N10,505 286,072 from the annual allowed revenues of the eleven DisCos during the next tariff review to discourage future non-compliance with the approved energy caps. NERC emphasized its commitment to regulatory compliance and consumer protection within the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.

It is important to note that the number of unmetered electricity users in December 2023 was reported as 7,319,846 by NERC.

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