New Year's Shock As EEDC Gets Ready To Disconnect Old Prepaid Meters In The South East
By Iwedi Ojinmah 2 months ago
The Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) is preparing to cut electricity supply from thousands of customers using prepaid smart card meters in the South East from January 1, 2020.
This has caused both outrage and fear in a region where light supply is already shoddy.
EEDC claims that it did not have the facilities to operate the meters anymore.
To continue to enjoy electricity from the national grid, such customers are either provided with new meters that use keypad or are billed on estimation monthly.
The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) had sold the prepaid smart card meters to consumers to replace the analog meters, shortly before the unbundling of the electricity sector by the Federal Government in 2014.
The distribution company (DisCo), which said the meters had become obsolete and no longer reliable for “accurate measurement of energy consumption”, had last week issued notices to customers to apply for replacement of metersRelated: FGN, United State Trade And Development Agency, General Electric And NNPC Sign $1.1million Grant To Support Electricity Infrastructure Development In Nigeria
The inability of the notices dated December 16, 2019, to state in clear terms what customers were expected to pay for the new meters and how long it would take for s replacement to be made got EEDC customers, majority of whom did not receive the notices before embarking on their Christmas holiday, worried.
Competent sources, however, said each consumer might cough out up to N40,000 to get the new meters, adding that it was a way of getting meters wholly operated and supplied by the EEDC and phasing out the ones supplied by Federal Government.
The move was in line with the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme approved by the National Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) that rolled out in May this year across several distribution companies.
A notice to that effect signed by Network Manager, Jyotirmaya Lenka, dated December 16, 2019 from the EEDC confirmed the move to replace the meters.
The notice read in part: “Please be informed that effective from January 1, 2020, you will not be able to make use of the meter currently in your supply address due to technical issues. The system used in monitoring such is outdated and no longer accessible. Also, the meter is obsolete and no longer reliable for accurate measurement of energy consumption. You are advised by this letter to key into MAP immediately for meter replacement.”