NERC Orders EEDC To Refund South-East Customers N11.8Bn For Crazy Bills

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has ordered Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to refund over N11 billion to South-East customers being excess billing on them between January to September 2023.

The commission maintained that the electricity distribution company (DisCo) over-billed 1,011,402 customers within the period through overestimation.

At the billing cycle for energy consumed in February 2024, NERC directed that EEDC shall credit the accounts for all customers that were over-billed during the period in review based on its assessment as contained in Schedule 1.

The commission rued the persistent non-compliance with the order on capping of estimated bills by the DisCo during the nine-month period, resulting in widespread customer dissatisfaction, which aggravated customer apathy to pay their bills, thereby contributing to the liquidity issues in the NESI.

A check on the NERC’s Order No 2024/006 reflected that the customers were specifically over-billed by the sum of N11,866,263,420.31

According to a performance review done by the sector regulatory commission during the nine-month period under review, showed that the EEDC failed to comply with the monthly caps as estimated bills approved by the commission.

The Order stated: “Upon completion of the review, the commission issued an RD stipulating a 14-day compliance deadline which expired in August 2023.

“The RD also notified EEDC that further regulatory actions shall be taken in accordance with the KPI Order for subsequent non-compliance. The continuous failure of EEDC to adhere to the commission’s monthly caps for estimated billing has led to significant over-billing of customers,” the NERC added.

While outlining the monthly over-billings, the commission stated that 203,375 customers were over-billed N1,933,495,624 in September; 188,298 customers were over-billed N1,745,269,356 in August, while 169,867 customers were over-billed N1,700,205,554 in July, among others.

The NERC further clarified: “At the billing cycle for energy consumed in February 2024, EEDC shall reconcile the accounts and issue credit adjustments for all customers that were over-billed between January-September 2023 based on the Commission’s assessment as contained in Schedule 1.

“EEDC shall submit its billing data for the February 2024 cycle (and any other relevant information) to the Commission as evidence of compliance with the provisions of section 11(A)(6) of this Order, no later than the 31st of March 2024.

“EEDC shall publish, in 2 (two) National dailies, citing the provisions of this Order, the list of credit adjustment beneficiaries (follow the sample contained in Schedule 1), and the same concurrently posted on its website, not later than the 31st of March 2024.”

To forestall further non-compliance by the DisCo, the NERC ordered a deduction of N1,186,626,342, which is equivalent to 10% of the Naira value of the total over-billing for the period January – September 2023, to be applied to EEDC’s annual OpEx over a rolling 12-month period during the next tariff review.

It warned that notwithstanding the provisions of section 11(B)(6), and pursuant to the provisions of section 34(2)(F) of the EA 2023, it may deduct a greater percentage of the total over-billing from EEDC’s admin OPEX where non-compliance with capping Orders persists.

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