By Obas Esiedesa
Electricity consumers in the country will from today face higher bills depending on the number of hours of supply received from their electricity distribution company (DisCos).
This follows the approval by the Federal Government for a new service based tariff increase for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
The Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) had last Wednesday, while giving nod to the new hike explained that the tariff increase will not affect “poor Nigerians”.
NERC Chairman, Prof. James Momoh in the statement explained that “tariff reviews going forward will only follow service-based principles. Under these service-based principles DisCos will only be able to review tariff rates for customers when they consult with customers, commit to increasing the number of hours of supply per day and quality of service”.
Momoh added: “In all cases poor and vulnerable Nigerians will not experience any increase. In line with these expectations, DisCos are directed to engage with their customers on a Service Based Tariff structure. Under the Service Based Tariff Structure, DisCos can only review tariffs for customers under the following conditions:
“(1) Customers are consulted and communicated a guaranteed level of electricity service by the DISCOs based on hours of supply.
“(2) Customers are metered
“(3) No estimated billing through the strict enforcement of the capping regulation. This means that unmetered customers will not experience any cost increase beyond what is chargeable to metered customers in the same area”.
Momoh noted that “even under the above conditions, there will be no change in tariff for the most vulnerable as tariffs for those consuming 50KW or less remain frozen. Customers receiving less than 12 hours of supply will also not experience any change in tariffs”.
In line with this, the DisCos late on Monday began rolling out the rates for customers.
The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) in a statement announcing the commencement of the new regime, said the new tariff will lead to longer and sustainable hours of electricity supply.
The company’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr. Oyebode Fadipe, in a statement on Tuesday morning in Abuja, stated that the Service Reflective Tariff plan was an innovative tariff structure designed to deliver on the need for an upward review of tariff with an attendant caveat of
improved service in the power sector.
The statement read: “The management of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc has commenced
implementation of the new Service Reflective Tariff Plan (SRT) across its franchise
“The Service Reflective Tariff (SRT) plan is a NERC mandated tariff structure whereby an upward increment in tariffs will result in substantially longer hours of
power supply, good quality voltage profile, swifter response to faults clearing and provision of pre-paid meters”.
The utility added: “the Service Reflective Tariff plan signals a new approach to tariff design which is required to ensure equity and fairness in delivering quality
service to customers and ensuring that customers get good value for their money”.
On how the plan would work, Mr. Fadipe noted that, “the new tariff design proposes an upwardly adjusted tariff for customers who are not averse to paying
more to enjoy longer hours of supply, standard voltage profile and faster fault
He further stated, ‘’While we keep working at ensuring all
classes of customers enjoy improved supply, customers who enjoy less than 12hrs of
supply will not be affected by the new tariff plan. Hours of supply to this class of customers will also not be adversely affected by the implementation of the plan”.
Mr. Fadipe encouraged customers to embrace this new tariff design as the goal of the plan was to ensure that customers enjoyed improved service and also to
position the power sector for optimal performance going forward.
The new plan across the DisCos showed that customers who receive less than 12 hours of power supply daily will not be affected by the increase whether they are metered or not.