Electricity: NERC seeks consumers’ views on mass metering

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is seeking consumers’ opinion on the best option to resolve the lingering electricity metering problem across the country.
The NERC earlier this week said it has decided to review its dual plans for mass metering, and was considering three options for an optimal outcome.
The agency said it was considering how to manage its National Mass Metering Programme’ (NMMP), approved in 2020, and the Meter Assets Provider (MAP) launched in 2018.
Both seek the provision of meters for customers and an end to estimated billing that allows electricity companies exploit customers.
Under NMMP, funding for at least 1 million meters is to come from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the World Bank.
In a consultation paper released Wednesday, NERC asked the public to suggest between running MAP and NMMP concurrently, or integrating MAP into the latter.
The third option envisages bringing MAP to an end for NMMP to kickstart. For the first plan, customers would be expected to pay their bills without being charged separately meters, as the cost will be part of energy charge. Where meters have already been deployed electricity firms are to reimburse such customers, NERC said.
On the second plan, NERC said it would continue with the current MAP framework and allow meters procured under the NMMP be supplied only through MAPs (as off-takers from the local manufacturers/ assemblers).
This option recognises the existing MAP framework and may also result in faster deployment of meters on account of current traction in the MAP programme.
The final option would see the government wind down the MAP framework and allow the DisCos to procure their meters directly from local manufacturers/assemblers, and enter into new contracts for the installation and maintenance of such meters.

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