The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has disclosed that electricity consumers who do not have continuous electricity supply for 15 days in a month shall no longer be required to pay the fixed electricity charge for that particular month.
This however will be granted, NERC said, if the disruption in power supply is caused by faults from the Electricity Distribution Company, DISCO and not the on the parts of consumers due to issues like non-payment of bill, vandalism or tampering.
On the question of the fairness or legality of fixed charges, Sam Amadi, the Chairman of NERC stated on Wednesday that the fixed charge is an element of any electricity bill, which is not peculiar to Nigeria alone.
He explained that being fixed does not mean that electricity charges would not change from year to year; it only means that it does not change for a given month.
Reacting to consumer’s complaint that the commission did not inform them before changing the tariff, Amadi said this was not true as each year has a different tariff plan.
He assured electricity consumers that the commission would always make interventions and investigate each time they lodge complaints.
“The new tariff plan is to take effect from June 1, 2014,” Amadi said, “and by May 8, the commission would create a forum office in each of Benin, Jos and Yola where issues relating to electricity would be addressed,” he added.