The Ikeja Electric is now deploying 10,000 smart meters monthly to electricity consumers in its area of operation
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Oct 19, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT |
THE Ikeja Electric has started deploying 10,000 smart meters monthly, with a target to hit a monthly average of 15,000 by December. This is despite the fact that the company was fined N131.4 million the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, for defying the regulator’s metering order.
Speaking on the successful installation of 7,621 smart meters to customers under the company’s pilot scheme, Abiodun Ajifowobaje, chief executive officer, Ikeja Electric, said the target was to deploy 600,000 meters for new customers. He said due to the bypassing of the company’s 58,000 prepaid meters by customers, the company had resorted to installation of special kind of prepaid meters called smart meters.
Ajifowobaje said with the smart meters, customers who compromised the meters would be detected in the company’s control room at the headquarters. He stated that the company has prepared a time-table on how to install meters for customers in different locations within the distribution network.
According to him, customers in a certain location will not be given meter until it is the turn of the customers in the area to get meters. Ajifowobaje also noted that customers would not pay for the meters as the cost has been embedded in electricity bills. “The meters are free of charge. The cost of the meter is embedded in the electricity bill. So, asking customers to pay for meters will amount to double payment.”
Ajifowobaje advised the company’s customers to wait until it is the turn of their area before applying for meters.
“We will not jump the queue and we will not say that because you are a friend of the house, we will then jump the queue when it is not yet the turn of your area. We will not install for you until it is your turn. Do not give anybody money because the meter is for free,” he said.
“Under the first phase, which will run from October 2015 to December 2016, we will install 300,000 smart meters. We have just concluded the deployment of the pilot phase,” Ajifowobaje said.
The NERC had on Sunday, October 4, sanctioned Ikeja Electric for flagrantly breaching the Credited Advance Payment on Metering Initiative Order. It stated that the fine was contained in Order NERC/141 and was issued on September 29, 2015, as a follow up to an earlier notice of commencement of enforcement action on the Disco alongside 10 others.