Meter Testing: NEMSA Goes Tough On Discos Over Failure

NEMSA, DISCOs, MeterThe Nigerian Electricity Management Service Agency (NEMSA) says the maximum failure rate it would allow in the testing and certification of meters for use by Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOs) would be 7.5%.

NEMSA stated that if the failure rates of meters, which the 11 DISCOs brought to its testing station were above that level, it would condemn the quantities of such meters and subsequently ban it from being deployed to homes and offices.

The Managing Director of NEMSA, Mr Peter Ewesor, issued the warning on Wednesday during a press briefing in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Ewesor stressed that the briefing was organised to sensitise electricity consumers in Nigeria on the standard expectations from the meters that DISCOs install in their homes and offices.

He explained that it was the job of the DISCOs to provide meters to their customers while consumers were to verify the authenticity and working conditions of meters supplied and installed.

The NEMSA boss noted that undertaking such task would ensure that consumers do not lose money from incorrect meter readings and energy losses.

Patronise Local Meter Makers, Fashola Tells Electricity Companies

Electricity-meterNigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing Mr, Babatunde Fashola, has urged electricity distribution companies to patronise local meter manufacturers in the quest for mass metering system of their customers across.

At the 6th Power and Stakeholders Monthly Meeting held on Monday in Kano State, North West Nigeria, the Minister said the patronage of local manufacturers would help avoid foreign exchange problem associated with importation of meters.

Mr Fashola stressed that it would greatly save cost if made in Nigeria meters were patronised, pointing out that it is of same quality with the imported ones.

He believes that proper synergy between operators at the highest executive management levels, generating companies, distribution companies, transmission companies and various relevant government agencies would provide sustainable solution to the nation’s power problem.

On the low supply of power currently being witnessed across Nigeria, Fashola told reporters that the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers had dropped power generation from 5,000 to about 3,000 megawatts.

“As of today, Nigeria rely only on hydro power from Jabba and other formations whose gas is not totally out,” he said.

The militant group in Niger Delta region have claimed responsibility for most attacks on oil facilities in the region, crippling exploration activities.

The meeting agreed that in furtherance of aggressive metering plans, all distribution companies should embark on a sensitisation campaign to enable customers understand the need for metering system.

At the meeting were operators and stakeholders of the Nigeria’s electricity industry and it was chaired by Mr Fashola.

The monthly meeting according to the minister was initiated to identify, discuss and find practical solutions to issues facing the Nation’s power sector.

Presenting a communique at the end of the meeting, the Managing Director of the Kano Electricity Distribution Company, Mr Jamilu Gwamna, said the meeting acknowledged the need to put in place a more robust mechanism on information sharing between the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and generation and distribution companies as well as other stakeholders in the electricity industry.

Electrocutions: FG Asks DISCOS To Prioritise Maintenance

Power-equipment-maintenanceThe Nigerian government has frowned at the spate of electrical accidents and electrocutions which it puts at the door step of the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOS).

Speaking to Channels Television on Saturday on the outcome of the Federal Government’s investigative panel on the death of Miss Juliana Oluchi Anekwe, a 300 hundred level student of the University of Lagos, the Chief Electrical Inspector of the Federation, Mr Peter Ewesor, said the use of low quality undersized aluminium conductor was a major cause of the incident.

Giving details of what could have caused the incident that led to Miss Anekwe’s death, he said that the 11kv feeder line which passed through the university was in a state of almost total disrepair, with so many joints.

“After the investigation of the student’s death, we have issued instructions to the respective DISCOS that were concerned, that they should ensure they repair and revamp this particular network and that they should use the experience as a guide to all other 11kv network or 33kv network to ensure that what happened here is prevented elsewhere,” Mr Ewesor stressed.

He further stated that recommendations had been Made to all DISCOS on equipment specifications and that sanctions would follow in the case of non- compliance.

NERC To Cap Bills For Electricity Consumers

ElectricityThe Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is set to begin a process that will cap the revenues that electricity distribution companies can generate from their consumers through the estimated billing method.

At a public hearing on Capping Estimated Billings in the Power Sector, the Assistant General Manager in charge of Customer Service Standard at the commission, Mr Shittu Lawal, observed that the consumers are baring most of the burden of the inadequate metering across the country.

Mr Lawal said 44.06% of registered electricity consumers in the country do not have effective metering system.

He also noted that the proposed capping system would encourage the distribution companies to ensure adequate metering of electricity consumers.

NERC Extends Planned Increase In Electricity Tariffs For Residential Consumers

ElectricityThe Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has extended the planned increase in tariffs for residential consumers to June this year while charges for other classes of consumers have taken effect from January first.

Addressing a news conference in Abuja, the chairman of the NERC, Dr Sam Amadi, said that the freeze in charges for residential consumers, who constitute about 80 per cent of the electricity consumers, was aimed at promoting the interest of consumers as well as stimulate operators to serve consumers better.

Dr Amadi expressed worries over the rate of meter deployment by electricity distribution companies in-spite of the credited advancement payment initiatives.

Since private companies took over ownership of some unbundled government stake in the power sector, new owners have said they needed to increase tariff in order to meet the needed increase in generating capacity of the plants.

Electronic Meter To Be Installed Within 45 Days Of Payment – NERC

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has kicked off the new metering scheme with an order mandating the electricity distribution companies to commence implementation of the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI).

NERC’s chairman, Dr Sam Amadi, while reeling out details of CAPMI told journalists in Abuja on Wednesday that the metering system provides a platform for customers that have paid for their meter to have it installed within 45 days.

The issuance of the electronic meter has been delayed for months and even years and a number of Nigerians have persistently demanded for the advance payment meter which eradicates the use of bills, as CAPMI is based on the pay-as-you-use format.

He further revealed that the commission has also signed an order mandating the distribution companies to supply meters paid for by customers dating back to January 2011.

CAPMI came about due to the slow pace of customer metering by the distribution companies as well as the high level of complaints from customers over the current estimated billing practices.

Dr. Amadi further gave the assurance that once privatisation of the power sector kicks in, meter challenges and estimated billings will be a thing of the past.