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.
Solar Firm Targets 30m Nigerians By 2030
Greenlight Planet, a global leader in solar home energy products, has delivered clean energy access to more than two million individuals in Nigeria.
On a mission to power, the lives of the underserved, Greenlight Planet began distributing its Sun King solar home energy products in the country in 2011. The company has focused on rapid innovation of its product offerings and distribution strategy ever since.
Speaking on Greenlight Planet in Nigeria, Global Business Leader, Sun King EasyBuy, Mr DhavalRadia, said, “Over the last 7 years, we have sold more than 500,000 life-changing Sun King solar solutions in Nigeria through strategic distribution partnerships and our own pay-as-you-go distribution channel.
Customers have been quick to recognise that an investment in Sun King products pays for itself over time, with several customers experiencing dramatic improvements in household savings, increased productivity for their small businesses and additional study–time for their children.”
He added that the quality and reliability of Sun King solar home systems has helped the organisation build a loyal customer base over time. “While we are humbled by the warm acceptance of our products so far, for us this is just the beginning to reaching the 101 million individuals still living without basic access to electricity in Nigeria. To ensure that our products are affordable for even the most cash-constrained households, we launched our ‘EasyBuy’ pay-as-you-go distribution channel in early 20173 .
According to him, Sun King products enabled with EasyBuy (PAYG technology) now allow potential users with limited access to financing to pay for their Sun King products in small instalments over time. “With twenty-four flagship Sun King stores across 23 active states, and a large network of nearly 1,200 local sales agents (“Sun King Energy Officers”), the Sun King EasyBuy door-to-door sales channel is accelerating Greenlight Planet’s growth in Nigeria while also boosting employment opportunities within local communities”, he said.
He said that the organisation’s vision was to establish a world-class distribution and energy financing eco-system for the vast off-grid populations of rural Nigeria. “With our rigorous efforts and continued innovation, our goal is to power 30 million lives by 2030 in Nigeria.
FG To Achieve 40% Switch From Fuel, Other Products
The Federal Government is targeting to achieve a 40 per cent energy switch from the consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol), Dual Purpose Kerosene (kerosene) and Automotive Gas Oil (diesel), to the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas.
According to the government, efforts are currently intensified to promote the wider use of LPG in households, power generation, auto-gas and industrial applications.
The government disclosed this through the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources in a document obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Friday on the achievements of the FMPR between 2016 and 2018.
Providing explanation on its LPG penetration programme, the ministry stated that the Federal Government initiated the LPG Expansion Programme in order to effectively drive the switch to LPG consumption across the country.
It said, “The LPG Penetration Framework is designed to reduce the national energy consumption of PMS, DPK, AGO by achieving a 40 per cent fuel switch to LPG in 10 years.
“The programme will also promote the wider use of LPG in households, power generation, auto-gas and industrial applications towards the attainment of five million metric tonnes domestic utilisation and creation of an estimated 500,000 job opportunities nationwide in five years.”
The FMPR noted that overall, improvements in the standard and quality of living in rural communities were also expected for the programme.
It said the LPG Penetration Programme along with the Nigeria Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme were components of Nigeria’s intended nationally designed contributions under the Paris agreement for reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020.
On the NGFCP, the government stated that the programme was a key component of the Nigerian Gas Policy which had the aim of reducing the environmental and social impact caused by flaring of natural gas, protect the environment, prevent waste of natural resources, and create social and economic benefits from gas flare capture.
“The design of the key programme transaction, commercial framework and documentation have been completed. When fully implemented it will improve gas supply for power generation, industrial use and LPG penetration in the economy,” the FMPR said.
In November, say that the Federal Government was targeting a revenue of $1bn annually and a total of 300,000 direct and indirect jobs from the commercialisation of flared gas.
The government said flared gas could be harnessed to stimulate economic growth, drive investments and provide jobs in oil producing communities and indeed for Nigerians through the utilisation of widely available innovative technologies.
In the NGFCP document obtained by our correspondent in Abuja, the NGFCP Programme Manager at the FMPR, Justice Derefaka, stated that the Federal Executive Council approved the NGFCP as the mechanism for implementing Nigeria’s commitment to eliminate routine gas flaring.
The government stated that the recently gazetted Flare Gas (Prevention of Waste and Pollution) Regulations 2018 was the legal basis for the implementation of the NGFCP and the payment regime (penalties) for gas flaring.
It stated that the regulation adopted the polluter pays principle, similar to a carbon tax, adding that “results of work done to trigger up to 85 projects that will utilise flared gas, generate approximately 300,000 direct and indirect jobs and annual revenue generation/Gross Domestic Product impact estimated at $1bn/annum are also highlighted.”
The NGFCP is developed by the FMPR, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Department of Petroleum Resources and the implementation team of the NGFCP comprising of adviser teams from the World Bank and USAID under the leadership of a ministerial steering committee that reports to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
EEDC To Deal With Buyers Stolen Electrical Installations
The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC), says it will redouble efforts to deal decisively with buyers of stolen and vandalised electrical installations in 2019.
The company’s Head of Communications, Mr Emeka Ezeh, said yesterday in Enugu that EEDC would step up its efforts in apprehending buyers of vandalised electrical installations.
According to him, it is believed that the buyers are the ones who motivate vandals to continue indulging in such nefarious act.
“If there is no one buying the items, there won’t be that motivation for the vandals to engage in this act,’’ he said.
EEDC spokesman, who recalled that two buyers were jailed in 2017, expressed the hope that after due process of the law, those apprehended in 2018 would also serve their terms in prison.
“We will not relent in this struggle and we hope that this will serve as deterrent to many others that are engaging in such criminal activities of buying stolen or vandalised EEDC property,’’ Ezeh said.
He said that it was worrisome that while EEDC had been striving to improve on its service delivery, some individuals were engaging in illegitimate activities to frustrate both the company and its customers.
“This singular act costs EEDC a lot financially, and ends up subjecting our customers to a lot of inconveniences,’’ he said.
He, however, solicited the cooperation and support of the various vigilante groups and state security agencies to apprehend and prosecute the vandals accordingly.
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