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DisCos can disconnect defaulting customers after 12 days, says NERC

DisCos can disconnect defaulting customers after 12 days, says NERC
May 15
12:18 2023

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says distribution companies (DisCos) have been empowered to disconnect consumers who have not paid their electricity bills for at least 12 days.

This is contained in the commission’s recently released ‘Customer Protection Regulations, 2023’.

According to NERC, a DisCo may disconnect supply to a customer’s premises when the client fails to pay the amount billed by the payment date specified on the bill or violates other terms and conditions agreed upon with the firm.

The commission outlined the conditions that must be fulfilled before DisCos can exercise their rights to disconnect customers for failure to pay their bills as and when due.

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The regulatory body said the payment date must be clearly stated on the bill.

NERC stated that the payment date must be, at least, 10 days after the bill was delivered, and DisCos can then disconnect two working days later.

“The payment date must be, at least, 10 days from the date of the delivery of the bill to the customer. Bills may be delivered physically to the customer’s premises or by some other electronic means, including text messages or electronic mail, as agreed with the customer,” the commission said.

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“The period between the payment date and date of scheduled disconnection for nonpayment is not less than two working days after the payment date.

“Any bill correcting a previous inaccurate bill shall have a payment date which is at least 10 working days from the date of delivery of the corrected bill to the customer.”

NERC said the DisCos must also verify from its records that payment has not been made by the customer.

‘DISCOS MAY DISCONNECT CUSTOMERS SUPPLY WITHOUT NOTICE

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According to the agency, a DisCo may disconnect a customer’s electricity supply without notice when the customer is connected to the DisCo’s network in an unauthorised manner.

“Where the customer’s connection is considered to be dangerous to the integrity of the network and/or affects the quality of supply to other customers,” NERC added.

“Where the DisCo is not granted access to read a meter that is located within the customer’s premises.”

NERC also said a DisCo may deny a customer’s request for supply of electricity over refusal to provide an acceptable means of identification or to pay the security deposit requested by the company.

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“Whenever a customer requests a distribution company to disconnect electricity supply to his premises, the distribution company shall disconnect the supply after confirming that the customer’s request will not impact on other customers in the premises that require continued supply,” the commission added.

“The distribution company shall ensure that it is able to monitor consumption to the premises of the customer that has requested a disconnection that was not effected due to the impact on other customers in the premises, to assess the customer’s consumption.”

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