The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) is planning to fine electricity distribution companies (DisCos) for wrongfully disconnecting customers’ electricity supply.
The commission proposed that any DisCo that disconnected a customer’s electricity supply “in violation of this regulation commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to pay the customer a penalty.”
The penalties as specified in the regulation are residential ₦1,000, commercial ₦1,500, and industrial ₦2,000.
“A DisCo which disconnects a customer supply in violation of these regulations shall compensate the customer on equivalent of 100 per cent daily energy cap for every day the wrongful disconnection lasts. This shall be determined based on the previous month’s bill or consumption,” stated NERC.
“In the event of a property left unoccupied” for some time following the exit of the occupant, said the commission, “a new occupant of premises should contact the DisCo on their first day of moving into the premises, which the DisCos should take into consideration for billing such customers.”
The commission, however, noted that if a new occupant fails to inform the DisCo of the commencement date, it would be “deemed to be a continuation of the old occupant regime.”
NERC further explained that the new occupant would take responsibility for the payment of any outstanding bills.
The paper also proposed that when a DisCo “has overcharged a customer,” it should advise the customer in writing within five days of becoming aware of the error and repay “the amount” by crediting “the exact amount” of the overcharge to the customers’ next bill.
In addition, NERC proposed that, in the case of “undercharge from incorrect billing,” the DisCos might establish the undercharge and recover the amount for not less than three months.
On replacement of faulty or obsolete meter, NERC said, “A meter shall be considered faulty and not in compliance with the distribution metering code if it is determined that any part on that metering system does not comply with the code.”