The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has mandated electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to refund customers who have paid for the acquisition of meters under the Meter Assets Provider (MAP) initiative. The reimbursement is to be facilitated through equal instalments of energy credits, spread over a maximum period of 36 months. This directive, issued in March 2023, aims to ensure fairness and transparency in the meter acquisition process.
- NERC has instructed DisCos to reimburse customers who have paid for meters under the MAP framework through energy credits over a maximum of 36 months.
- Customers who choose to make upfront payments for meters will receive refunds in the form of energy credits, with the reimbursement schedule approved by the commission.
- The reimbursement cycle aligns with the 10-year useful life of meters and mirrors the repayment terms set by financial institutions for meter acquisition loans.
- The cost of prepaid meters paid by customers will be amortised over 120 equal instalments and refunded through energy credits based on prevailing tariffs at the time of vending.
Analysis: NERC’s directive to DisCos represents a significant step towards enhancing transparency and accountability in the meter acquisition process. By providing clear guidelines for reimbursement, the commission aims to protect the interests of electricity consumers and ensure that they receive fair value for their investments. The alignment of the reimbursement cycle with the useful life of meters and financial institution terms demonstrates a strategic approach to managing metering costs.
Background: The Meter Assets Provider (MAP) initiative in Nigeria was introduced to address the challenge of inadequate metering in the electricity distribution sector. It allows third-party companies (MAPs) to procure and install meters on behalf of DisCos, with customers making payments for the meters through the DisCos. This initiative aims to improve transparency, accuracy in billing, and overall service quality for electricity consumers.