By Gladys Nweke
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has broken silence on a number of issues beguiling the customers-Discos relationship, including customer services and meter reading.
In a series of Tweets through its official handle, @NERCNG, the commission said whenever a customer makes a request to a distribution company for a new or additional connection to his premises, the Disco will take measures to fit the meter and connect the power supply within ten working days of receiving the request.
This, NERC said is applicable provided that the Disco will inspect and approve the electrical installation, agrees to connect the supply, and that the customer has paid any approved charges.
On meter reading frequency, NERC said every Disco will obtain, through authorised representatives an actual reading of all meters in all supply addresses within its area of supply every month but not later than once in every three months.
This it explained will be applicable where a customer has been provided with an unmetered supply by the DisCo or the customer has a prepayment meter.
Planned supply interruptions
According to NERC, whenever a Disco is to discontinue the supply of a customers premises in order to undertake planned maintenance to its equipment, the Disco should provide the customer with a minimum of three workings days notice of a planned interruption.
NERC explained that whenever a customer reports a problem of incorrect meter reading to any DisCo, such as that an electricity bill is too high or too low compared to normal monthly bills for the same customers or premises and, where appropriate, test the meter within three working days of the problem being reported.
And if an official reply cannot be given at the time of the visit, it will be provided within five working days of the visit.
Repositioning of a meter
Upon a customer requests that a Disco re-position an electricity meter and pays the cost of carrying out the re-positioning, the Disco is expected to undertake work within five working days of the request, provided that the Disco agrees to the customer’s request to move the meter and the old proposed meter positions remain in the same premises, according to NERC.
Reconnection of supply disconnected for non-payment
The commission explained that whenever a customer whose premises have been disconnected by a Disco for non-payment of electricity charges either pay all outstanding charges including reconnection charges, or enters into a payment arrangement with the Disco for the outstanding debt and reconnection charges request the reconnection of his electricity supply, the customer should have his electricity supply reconnected within twenty-four hours.