Following the resolve to democratise metering provision, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is developing a regulatory framework to guide would-be investors in metering services.
The regulatory framework is to govern the operation of metering service providers apart from the electricity distribution companies (DisCos).
In a communiqué issued at the end of the 18th monthly meeting hosted by the Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) at the Kombotso Transmission Station, Kano State, it noted that meter provision is not a monopoly of DisCos but open and regulated by NERC and NEMSA.
It maintained that anyone licensed by NERC may provide meters, pursuant to the provisions of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005.
“The democratisation of meter provision is intended to reduce conflict between customers and DISCO and reduce losses in the sector, and assist DISCO who cannot afford to fund meters,” the communiqué added.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola had also in an interview with newsmen on Monday said” Although DISCO have the responsibility to provide meters to their clients because they collect money, the law did not provide a meter business monopoly for DisCos.
“So anybody who qualifies will apply for a licence to be a meter service provider in a DisCo to take some of the power from the DisCo under its franchise.”
However, he stated that this does not relieve the DisCos off their obligations to provide meters to electricity consumers but to ensure the mass metering plan through the use of individual investors.
“It does not relieve the DisCos of their obligations the reason the DisCos need meter is so that you and I know that we are paying for what we used and that is why estimated billing is a very vexatious issue but it’s not relieving them the obligation to provide meters it is actually enabling them to use anybody who can do metering to say, I don’t want to do metering, I want to sell power.
“Part of the reasons why we don’t have enough meters is because there is no money to buy the meters so if somebody else can produce the meters, it opens another aspect of power industry for investment and employment.”
On the newly launched mini-grid regulations by NERC, it said these are intended to improve access to power, provide employment opportunities, give relief to the DisCos, and allow a paradigm shift in their operations.