The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has approved new charges to be paid by customers for the installation of meters, following the agency’s scrapping of payment of the market prices of both prepaid and manual meters under the new electricity tariff regime.
But under the new tariff regime that will take effect from June 1, 2012, customers will no longer pay the market price for prepaid meters as both the costs of meters and their maintenance have been factored into the new tariff.
It was learnt that the new charges, which will serve as meter connection fees, will be less than the current charges being paid by customers for procurement of prepaid meters.
Under the current tariff regime, customers buy a single phase prepaid meter at a cost of N25,000, while three-phase prepaid meter costs N55,000.
However, customers will pay for connection fees, which do not represent the market price but will be commensurate with the cost of connection of such electric facility.
NERC has since published the new electricity tariff but the new charges for prepaid meters have not been disclosed.
A top official of NERC told THISDAY at the weekend that new charges have been approved and would be made public in the first week of June.
“The modalities have been worked out and by the first week of June, the applicable connection charges will be published,” he said.
He disclosed that the new charges would be less than the cost of the prepaid meters, adding that the regulatory agency approved fees that were commensurate with the cost of connection.
“There will be no more payment for meter fees and the connection charges are fair,” he said.
Though meter will now be free of charge, NERC has however jacked up fixed charges to be paid monthly by customers with high voltage maximum demand, irrespective of whether there is electricity supply for the month or not.
The fixed charges vary across the 11 distribution companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Under the new tariff, High voltage maximum demand customers referred to as Residential 4 (R4) customers under the Kaduna Distribution Company will pay N156, 356.00, while those under Eko and Ikeja will pay monthly fixed charges of N118, 830.56 and N109,449.20, respectively.
R4 customers in Abuja and Benin will pay N113, 358.10 and N101,631.40, respectively, while those in Enugu and Ibadan will pay N117, 416.46 and N117,267.00, in that order.
High voltage maximum demand customers in Jos, Kano and Port Harcourt will pay uniform fixed charge of N117,267. 00 monthly, while the same category of customers in Yola will pay N100, 849.62.
The agency has however scrapped all forms of fixed charges for the lowest-paying customers – R1 customers.