Apparently concerned by the growing complaints against the recently introduced electricity tariff plan by millions of electricity consumers, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Friday maintained that electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) must not increase tariffs of customers enjoying less than 12 hours power supply daily.
The NERC Commissioner, Legal Licensing and Compliance, Mr. Dafe Akpeneye, made the clarification during an online town hall meeting between the industry regulator and electricity customers on the new electricity tariff regime.
The DisCos had on September 1 this year announced the implementation of new Service Reflective Tariff Plan (SRT) across their franchise areas.
Under the new tariff template, customers had been categorized into five bands with bands D and E who were not enjoying 12 hours daily power supply not affected by the new tariff plan.
During the meeting, Akpeneye while responding to complaints 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.
The Commissioner pointed out that the hours and bands were decided by the commission after consultations but customers were assigned to the bands by the DisCos.
He clarified:” 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”, Akpeneye advised.
According to him, in order to protect unmetered customers from exploitation by the DisCos, NERC came up with “Parity with Neighbours” which is the principle the industry regulator is applying with unmetered customers.
“It basically means as an unmetered customer, you cannot be charged more than your metered neighbour,” the commissioner said.