NERC deploys new methods against electricity fraud

By Post Nigeria July 7, 2015 18:25

NERC deploys new methods against electricity fraud

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC has vowed to end cloning of electricity meters and other electricity related scams in the industry, as it is set to deploy smart meters technology to enable consumers know the amount of energy they are consuming.

The development is aimed at creating a framework where revenues of the Distributing Companies, DisCos are protected as well as enable consumers to better manage their electricity consumption rates.

Chairman of NERC, Sam Amadi made this known recently in an interactive session in Abuja, asserting that as part of its effects to overcome the menace in the sector, it has taken delivery of a completed technical work.

This allows it set up the appropriate framework for deployment of smart meters to distribution networks in the country.

Many of the DisCos, in a bid to overcome metering cloning and other forms of frauds against the electricity market, are resorting to smart meter. This regulation will provide a supporting framework for smart metering in the Nigerian electricity market.

Amadi while shedding more light on the initiative expressed satisfaction in response he was getting from licensed electricity distribution companies in deploying the technology in their various networks, adding that the expected regulation will provide the supporting framework for such development in the sector.

NERC confirmed that the draft regulation will be subjected to review and consideration by the general public before it is finalized and approved as a regulatory document for use in this regard.

      “The Commission has also received completed technical work on the regulation on smart metering.

“This draft regulation is now slated for public consultation to enable operators and the general public review and comment on the regulation before it is finalised and approved by the Commission,” Amadi said.

“I want to warn customers to stop engaging in criminal acts of stealing power. It is this sort of sabotage at the retail level that increases the commercial losses that increase tariff that consumers pay.”

He however requested electricity consumer’s devotion to doing the right things in the sector, and thus asked that existing acts of fraud in the sector be reported to the distribution companies.

In addition he stressed that by protecting electrical installations, the cost of electricity generation, transmission and distribution will be reduced, thus consumers will benefit in terms of improved power supplies and lower tariff.

In another development NERC blamed some DisCos for poor implementation of the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation CAPMI.

CAPMI provides a platform for willing customers to pay the cost of the meter into a dedicated account jointly managed by the DISCOs and meter Vendor/Installer.

Amadi affirmed that the scheme had suffered in spite of the willingness of consumers to cue in, stressing that some customers paid for meters but DISCOs failed to provide meters as expected.

NERC disclosed that over 50 per cent of all the registered customers in the country are either unmetered or have non-functional meters, as he enjoined DISCOs to report customers who by-passed or cloned meters and tampered with electrical installations, to the law authorities.