… Warned ‘enegy thieves’ to desist or….
Hope rises for customers of Enugu Electricity Distribution Company(EEDC) who has being having running battle with the electricity distribution over they considered arbitrariness in billing system as the company declares it’s readiness to start metering.
According to the Head, Communication department of EEDC, Mr Chukwuemeka Ezeh, in Awka on Friday, the distribution company has taken delivery of 200,000 units of pre-paid meters, and called on customers to be calm and understanding as they are rolled out.
Mr Ezeh states that the company is making an investment of ten billion (N10bn) Naira into the metering project and is a demonstration of her commitment to have all customers metered with time.
Though, Mr Ezeh acknowledged that the amount was a far cry from what was required to metre its over 700,000 customers..
“We are presently running our in-house metering process in which we have committed over N10 billion but that has not scratched the surface because of the number of customers on the network.
“We do not have the enormous financial muscle to metre every customer at the same time but consciously and gradually, we are making progress.
“So far, we have taken delivery of over 200, 000 units of prepaid metres and as we push them out more are being supplied; we have a good number of metres to give out but we want customers to be patient.
“We are aggressively metering our customers and as a way of pursuing the project, most utility vehicles in our offices have been mobilised for the metering staff and in February, 4,000 units were installed,” he said.
Ezeh maintained that prepaid metres were free, warning customers on the EEDC network not to give anybody money to get the device as it would not yield any special benefit.
He urged those seeking installation of prepaid metres to apply through the EEDC website and stay on the queue until it was their turn.
Ezeh said EEDC had compiled and would publish the name of debtors and energy thieves on the network soon as he alleged that some customers were rejecting prepaid metres and others bypassing it.
He said the regulation in the industry did not allow customers to buy directly from prepaid metre manufacturers or dealers.
Ezeh said there was the need to review the tariff system in the power sector as the prevailing Multi-Year Tariff Order (MYTO) module no longer allowed for cost reflective billing.
“MYTO is not cost reflective; it was designed when dollar was about N198 or so but now dollar is about N360, what that means is that we buy power at N198 and sell at N360 depending on the prevailing rate of dollar.
“DISCOs are those bearing the shortfall, imagine buying energy for N4 billion a month and struggle to collect N3 billion.”