The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has imposed a fine of N10.5 billion on all eleven Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) for failing to comply with mandated billing regulations for unmetered customers nationwide.
In a statement dated February 8, NERC stated that the DisCos have disregarded the mandated credit cap for unmetered customers, opting instead to impose arbitrary charges on them, contravening Section 34(1)(d) of the Electricity Act of 2023.
As a response, NERC has issued an order on non-compliance, directing the DisCos to issue credit adjustments to overbilled customers for the period of January to September 2023 by the March 2024 billing cycle. Additionally, DisCos are required to publish the list of credit adjustment beneficiaries in two national dailies and on their website by March 31, 2024.
Furthermore, the commission will deduct N10,505,286,072 from the annual allowed revenues of the DisCos during the next tariff review to deter future non-compliance with approved energy caps.
NERC reaffirmed its commitment to regulatory compliance and consumer protection within the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry.
The backstory reveals that NERC had introduced a capping system on estimated billing in February 2020 to ensure fairness in billing for unmetered customers. However, DisCos have reportedly not followed these regulations, leading to arbitrary charges on energy users.