NERC Charges DISCOs To Notify Customers Before Disconnection

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has declared that it is illegal for any electricity Distribution Company (DisCo) to carry out disconnection of a customer’s power supply without prior notification in writing.
The Commission, in a public notice released on Saturday, said it has taken the bull by the horn by releasing to the public, the rights of every electricity consumer to curb arbitrariness by the DisCos and aid consumers in fighting for their rights.
The NERC Acting Chairman/Executive Officer Dr. Anthony Akah, who  signed the public notice titled “Good News For Electricity Consumers!” also said that henceforth “All new electricity connections must be done strictly on the basis of metering before connection.
Aka in the public notice directed that no new customer should be connected by the distrisbution company without meter first being installed.
According to him, “It is the customer’s right to be notified in writing ahead of disconnection of electricity service by the electricity distribution company serving the customer in line with NERC’s guidelines’’.
He listed other rights of the electricity consumer as contained in the public notice as “A customer who elects to procure meter under the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) Scheme must be metered within 60 days, after which the customer will neither be billed nor disconnected by the electricity distribution company.”
“It is the customer’s right to transparent electricity billing. Unmetered customers should be issued with electricity bills strictly based on NERC’s estimated billing methodology.
“It is the customer’s right to prompt investigation of complaints arising from the customer’s electricity service disruption.
“It is not the responsibility of electricity customer or community to buy, replace or repair electricity transformers, poles and related equipment used in the supply of electricity’’, he said.
The NERC boss explained that It is the customer’s right to contest any electricity bill, adding that,  any unmetered customer who is disputing his or her estimated bill has the right not to pay the disputed bill, but pay only the last undisputed bill as the contested bill goes through the dispute resolution process of NERC.
The commission urged customers to send all complaints on electricity supply and other billing issues  to the nearest business unit of the electricity company serving their premises.
According to him, “If your complaint is not satisfactorily addressed, you can forward your complaint to the NERC Forum Office within the coverage area of your electricity distribution company. Customers also have the right to appeal the decision of the forum at the NERC headquarters in Abuja.”
The Commission warned against neglecting their obligations, stating the customers an obligation to pay their valid electric bills, avoid meter by-pass or stealing of electricity and protect power infrastructure from being vandalised.
NERC is the body empowered to meet the yearnings of Nigerians for stable, adequate and safe electricity supply.