37 Companies receive new licences to produce 762.3MW electricity

*The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission  discloses the regulatory Commission the huge metering gap for electricity consumers still remains a key challenge in the industry

Isola Moses |    ConsumerConnect

In a move to boost power supply to homes, businesses and offices across the West African country, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has issued new licences and permits to 37 companies to produce a total of 762.3 Megawatts (MW) of electricity.

Analysis of the Commission’s latest Fourth Quarter (Q4) 2021 Report the regulatory Commission released  Sunday, September 25, indicated that the metering of electricity consumers dropped by 71.86 percent, compared to the number of metered  clients by electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in the preceding quarter.

The NERC stated on the report the Commission approved the issuance of four new generation licences with a total nameplate capacity of 508.5MW and the renewal of two existing licences Q4 2021.

“The commission also granted an aggregate capacity of 253.75MW captive power generation permit to eight companies and approved 25 mini-grid permits.”

The data also showed that  46 metering service providers consisting of 17 installers, 15 manufactures, two vendors and 12 importers were also approved by the commission in Q4 2021.

“The commission granted a total of 85 licenses and permits in 2021/Q4,” the report stated.

In respect of metering what consumers use, the regulator stated that the huge metering gap for end-use customers was still a key challenge in the industry.

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“A total of 81,084 meters were installed in 2021/Q4, as compared to the 288,154 meters installed in 2021/Q3,” the NERC said.

The power industry regulator said, “The reduction in the number of meter installations in 2021/Q4 was largely driven by the winding down of the NMMP (National Mass Metering Programme) phase zero.

“The Commission’s records indicate that, of the 10,514,582 registered energy customers as at December 2021, only 4,773,217 (45.40 percent) have been metered compared to 42.93 per cent metering as at September 2021.”

Nonetheless, NERC noted that as a safeguard against overbilling of unmetered consumers via estimation, the Commission has set maximum limits to the amount of energy (energy caps in KWh) that might be billed to unmetered clients.

It stated “the cap for each customer is set based on the customer category, consumption of metered customers on the same feeder and the customer’s tariff band.

“The caps are computed based on three-month data of actual consumption records of metered customers on the same feeder.”

Consumer complaints

As regards electricity consumer complaints in the country, the regulator stated that in 2021/Q4, cumulatively, the DisCos received 222,639 complaints from consumers, as this was 24,479 (-9.91 percent) less complaints than those received in 2021/Q3.

NERC said, “In total, the Discos resolved 212,382 complaints corresponding to a 95.39 percent resolution rate.

“Metering, billing, and service interruption were the prevalent sources of customer complaints, accounting for 58.83 per cent of the total complaints during the quarter.”

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