Electricity distribution companies in Nigeria will start charging consumers new electricity tariff as well as end the era of fixed charge for power on February 1
| By Anayo Ezugwu | Jan 18, 2016 @ 01:00 GMT |
CONSUMERS who think that the National Electricity Commission, NERC, will change its mind over the payment of the new electricity tariff will be disappointed as it will start by February 1. The NERC on Wednesday, January 6, reiterated that the take-off date for the new electricity tariff (MYTO 2015) remains unchanged. A statement from the commission also urged distribution companies to abide by its directive not to connect new customers without first providing them with meters.
“We wish to state that at no time did the commission change the date for the take-off of the new tariff,” NERC said.
Anthony Akah, acting head of the commission, said the removal of fixed charge under the new tariff regime “was in response to electricity consumers’ complaints and a measure to ensure electricity distribution companies improve on service delivery as their income is dependent on the quantity of electricity used by their customers.”
Akah said NERC would continue to engage stakeholders including members of the National Assembly to address their concerns on the new tariff regime. “NERC holds National Assembly in high esteem and we are sure that both institutions are working to ensure that the National and consumer interests are protected.”
The NERC was reacting to reports in the media that it may shift the February 1, 2016, take-off date for the implementation of the new electricity tariff. The idea of potentially postponing the implementation of the new tariff stemmed partly from the sustained opposition by the House of Representatives to the tariff hike and the expiration of the tenure of office of the chairman of NERC and other commissioners shortly after the approval of the new tariff regime.
The House of Representatives had resolved that NERC should not embark on any upward review of tariff, until it concluded its probe of the power sector, particularly the privatisation programme. However, the regulatory agency apparently ignored the resolution of the House and went ahead to review tariff by 45 percent.
NERC had last month announced the removal of fixed charges, saying consumers would now have to pay for only what they consume. Although, the new tariff regimes comes with an increase in energy charges, all electricity consumers (residential as well as commercial) will no longer pay fixed charges, so their total bills will depend on the electricity they actually consume and may be reduced when they conserve electricity.
NERC said, “Consumers will no longer be spending money every month to pay for fixed charges even when they do not receive electricity in their homes and business. The objective of the new tariff is to enable prudent consumers to save money on electricity bill as they can now control their consumption and not pay monthly fixed charges.
“For instance, residential customer classification (R2) in Abuja Electricity Distribution Company will no longer pay N702.00 fixed charge every month. Their energy charge will increase by N9.60. Also, residential customers (R2 customers) in Eko and Ikeja electricity distribution areas will no longer pay N750. 00 fixed charges. They will be getting N10 and N8 increase, respectively in their energy charges.
“Similarly, the burden of N800.00 and N750.00 fixed charges would be lifted off the shoulders of Kaduna and Benin electricity consumers. These consumers will see an increase of N11.05 and N9.26, respectively in their energy charges. The new tariff is also good news for commercial consumers. For example, commercial customers’ classification C2 in Ibadan and Enugu will no longer pay fixed charges of N17, 010. 00 and N22, 141. 00. Their energy charge will increase by N12.08 and N13.35, respectively.”