FG To Mandate ‘No-meter, No-service’ Policy For New Electricity Service In Nigeria

Power Distribution Company (DisCo) Ikeja Electric has announced its ongoing metering for all unmetered customers under its unit.

In an attempt to address the metering issues within Nigeria’s power sector, state administrations have encouraged the Federal Government (FG) to adopt a “no-meter, no-service” policy for all new electricity connections.

This call to action is stated in the paper from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, which Nairametrics was able to view, Development of the National Integrated Electricity Policy & Strategic Implementation Plan: Policy Recommendations by State Governments to the Federal Ministry of Power.

State governments emphasized in the text how vital power meters are to closing the large metering gap, which is necessary for subnational markets to remain viable.

The states also argued that State Electricity Regulatory Commissions (SERCs) should have the autonomy to determine the most suitable meter technology, type, and form for deployment within their respective electricity markets.

The document read: “States believe that the provision of electricity meters to close the huge metering gap is a necessary requirement to make sub-national markets viable. However, SERCs, in conjunction with the Distribution licensees, should be allowed to determine the meter technology, type and form of meters to be deployed within their States electricity markets, taking into consideration the cost of meters, extent of the telecommunications coverage in the State, tariff methodologies adopted by the SERC (fixed tariff, time of use, etc) and metering requirements in urban and rural communities and across customer categories arising from their energy consumption.

“States are of the view that the national electricity policy should mandate an immediate “no-meter, no-service” policy for all new connections to prevent the metering gap from further increasing.

The need for low-cost metering schemes

The states further demanded that the FG assist in providing long-term, low-cost support for metering programs. Direct loans to distribution licensees or off-balance sheet funding through meter asset special purpose vehicles (SPVs) or special purpose meter finance firms could do this.

The document further recommended that prepaid meter purchases be made directly from manufacturers and qualified meter asset suppliers who have been approved by the SERC for electricity customers.

The document noted: “The Federal Government is urged to provide low-cost, long-term funding for metering schemes as direct loans to Distribution Licensees or off-balance sheet funding through special purpose meter finance companies (or meter asset SPV companies) to close the metering gap, whilst also encouraging electricity customers to directly purchase prepaid meters from accredited meter asset providers and manufacturers accredited by the SERC. States on their own will implement their viable metering programs and metering regulations to close the metering gap within their state electricity market.”

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