AEDC Meters 88,000 Customers, Targets 120,000 Others by December

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The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), has installed 88,000 meters and plans to install 120,000 more by December 2017 to address customers’ complaints on estimated billing.

Engr. Ernest Mupwaya, Managing Director of the company, who stated this Sunday at the opening of a two- day workshop on energy theft for judges in the Federal Capital Territory, reiterated the company’s determination to provide meters to all its customers.

Mupwaya said “The issue slowing down metering is funding constraint in the electricity market. We will use the vendor financing system to acquire 120,000 meters and if they are deployed and protected from energy theft, we can gain more funding and meter more customers.”

He said of the 800,000 customer base, AEDC has metered 3,800 who are the largest power users constituting 50 per cent of the revenue collection base including the governments’ Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.

To make meters more available, he said the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, has proposed revival of the Credited Advanced Payment for Metering Initiative, CAMPING, where customers buy meters at designated shops around the 11 Distribution Companies (DisCos) and install them with refund.

Decrying the constraint getting a cost -reflective tariff  to ensure power firms operate optimally, the MD said “The wholesale (generation) tariff has increased by 100 per cent since privatisation, on the retail side, the increase is only 16 per cent so there is already a big deficit.”

He said while the DISCOs seek cost reflective tariff to enable them make more investments including metering, customers would want to be meter first, before they would support any tariff increase.

He advised Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, to address the liquidity gap by computing the tariff shortfall into the DIsCOs’ assets so it could reflect in their balance sheet as projected revenue to be cleared through future tariff review when the electricity market stabilises.

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Mupwaya noted that “This would enable lenders to see the DISCOs account as positive and give more funding for investment requirement.”

He noted that AEDC has continued to be among the first four best performing DiScOs which is a giant leap from the seventh position it occupied before the privatisation in 2013.

On the remittance of the monthly energy collection, Mupwaya said AEDC remains the highest remitter in the last two years, and assured that it would improve its networks by installing more than 200 transformers in Kogi, Abuja, Nasarawa and Niger states.