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Standards: NEMSA urges consumers to reject DisCos’ prepayment meters without seals, labels

Prepayment Electricity Meters

*The Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency explains why some prepayment electricity meters run faster than normal, and the need for consumers to identify the regulator’s seal and label on meters to ensure the DisCos’ meters being installed for them are genuine

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of its consumer education and sensitisation initiatives, the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA) has alerted electricity consumers to reject any prepayment meters the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) offer them without NEMSA seal and labels.

ConsumerConnect learnt Aliyu Tahir, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), stated this Wednesday, April 27, 2023, in Abuja, FCT.

Tahir explained that identifying the seal and label on the product is the first step in ensuring that the prepayment electricity meters any DisCos install for consumers are genuine.

According to him, the regulatory agency tests and certifies every meter and other electrical assets used in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) before deployment to power consumers.

The NEMA Chief Executive also said that the labels informed consumers the date each meter was tested and the next due date for another test.

However, for consumers who suspect their meters run faster than normal, Tahir stated: “So many things can cause your meter to read faster.

“First, is the installation of such a meter. It is important that only a NEMSA certified meter installer is allowed to install your meter and you can verify this by asking for their certificate.”

He further noted: “Another thing is the electrical installations on your premises around your meter.

“If there is linkage between your meter and the installation, the meter will see it as a continuous load and it will be reading.

‘’Most of these installations do not have effective earthing.”

The Managing Director stated “it is only when earthing is done properly that you can have leakages detected and isolated, using the circuit breaker.

“Improper installation of change over between generators and power supply can also lead to this.

“Some of us build our own generators in line with our meters.”

Tahir explained: ‘’If you install the generator along the load line, your meter will continue to pick it up when you are running your generator.

“You must have a separate line for your generator. If not, you will pay the utility for using your own generator.’’

The Chief Electrical Officer of the Federation disclosed that NEMSA carried out wide-ranging tests of equipment and installations 2022.

He said the agency, last year, “inspected 10,876 new electrical projects; monitored 10,598 existing networks, and resolved 771 of them; tested 2.5 million meters; inspected 3,480 factories, public places and hotels; certified 2,719 electrical personnel and renewed 6,332 in total; inspected 647 pole manufacturers; removed 68,168 substandard materials and investigated 376 electrical accidents.”

NEMSA’s operational challenges

Tahir as well poor funding as one of the difficulties hampering the agency’s work in the power sector of the Nigerian economy.

He expressed concern that failure of DisCos to invest in the network is also hindering growth in the industry.

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