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    Friday, May 31, 2024

    Consumers Kick as NERC Increases Eligible Customer Criterion

    Consumers under the umbrella of the Electricity Consumers Protection Advocacy Center (ECPAC) yesterday condemned the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) for raising the Eligible Customer Regulations load requirement from 2Mega Watts (MW) to a minimum of 6MW.

    Kicking against the NERC 2024 Eligible Customer Regulations criteria, in a press statement, the new regulation, which is difficult to meet, will kill industries, and businesses, and cause economic hardship.

    ECPAC, Executive Director, Chief Princewill Okorie, who issued the press statement, sought legislative and executive intervention to save the economy from the regulations.

    He said: “NERC 2024 Eligible Customer Regulations criteria will kill industries, businesses and cause economic hardship; the need for legislative and executive action to save Nigeria’s economy.”

    He said the 2MW in the 2017Eligible Customers Regulation has been difficult to meet, wondering how to realize the 6MWH, 10MWH, and 20MWH in the 2024 regulation.

    Okorie said: “Simply put, the 2017 Eligible Customer Regulation was capped at 2Mwh/h over the course of one month, contrary to the 2024 Eligible Customer Regulations which brought in 6Mwh/h, 10Mwh/h and 20Mwh/h.

     “It is important to state that information from experts revealed that most businesses found it difficult to reach the 2Mwh/h threshold for 2017.

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    “It was further revealed that experts were advocating for it to be brought down to 1Mwh/h to enable Small and Medium Enterprises who needed Power to meet up.

    “Some experts in Power are saying that it will be difficult for any business in Nigeria especially the Small and Medium Enterprises to achieve the 6Mwh/h 10Mwh/h and 20Mwh/h criteria set by NERC.”

    Meanwhile, NERC Public Affairs General Manager, Dr. Usman Arabi did not answer the phone call and a WhatsApp message that sought the commission’s response to the story.

    Okorie said despite the objectives presented by NERC for Eligible Customer Regulations, it is important to State the need for Eligible customers arose as a result of the inability of Licensed Electricity Distribution Companies to distribute enough Power to service the needs of consumers.

    The Executive Director said business operators who need power for productive activities cannot cope with the unreliability and sometimes poor quality of supply by Discos.

    He also noted that the business operators also feel that irrespective of the poor, unstable, and inefficient supply, they are overbilled through estimated billing.

    Okorie added that there is also the issue of power Generation Companies Complaining that the amount of power distributed by Disco is usually lower than what they generate, resulting in revenue loss.

    Continuing, he said: “A situation where 4000megawatts of Power is distributed across the country of over 200 persons with 39,654,385 Micro, Small and Medium, Enterprises, employing 59,647,954, according to SMEDAN shows that the current Power Supply situation cannot meet up with the needs of businesses and residents.

    “It therefore becomes necessary to evaluate the justification and rationale for the Eligible Customer Regulation that makes criteria for Eligible Customer to be based on 6Mwh/h for 90days for point to Point connection, 10Mwh/h for 90days for new connection to 33Kv Network, 10Mwh/h for 90days for Existing Disco’s Customer Transitioning to Eligibility, 20Mwh/h over 90days for New Connection to Transmission Network.”

    Comparing and contrasting 2017 with 2024 Eligible Customer Regulations criteria he said in the Eligible Customer Regulations of 2017, he said: “The criteria were for end-user customers registered with the Commission for the purpose whose consumption is more than 2Mwh/h over a course of one month that is connected to a metered 11Kv or 33Kv delivery point on the distribution network.

    “A customer or group of customers registered with the commission for the purpose that is connected to a metered 11Kv or 33Kvdelivery point.”

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