The Head of Communications, EEDC, Mr Emeka Eze, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Aba on Monday.
According to Eze, the transformer metering exercise is aimed at ensuring that transformers that are cut off from power supply, but have their feeders up and running do not get billed at the end of the day.
He said that although the company had not abandoned customer metering, it was pursuing transformer metering to ensure that customers’ complaints of over-billing were checked.
“Now part of what we are doing is to metre open transformers.
“The whole idea is to zero down the cost of energy consumed per transformer so that energy consumed by customers through a particular transformer is what will be used to bill them.
“It is a strategy to address this complaint of overbilling as some people say that they have not seen light for one year yet they get bills.
“Therefore, if a metre is on your transformer and it does not receive power supply, that metre will not capture anything and that means such customer will not be billed at the end of the period.
“We started metering transformers since February and I do not think there is any transformer in Aba that has not been metered, although, we are metering all the public transformers and we call it Distributor-Transformer Metering,’’ he said.
Eze explained that prior to the transformer metering exercise, EEDC was using feeder availability to bill customers.
He said that after the exercise, customers would no more complain of being billed without power supply as transformers whose feeders receive power supply, will have supply to it measured to ensure accurate customer billing.
He said that EEDC had metered over 260, 000 customers stressing that metering is not magic and cannot be done over night.
According to him, a new metre access regulation that was approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and which took effect from January, has taken off to take over the deployment of metres to customers.
“We are earnestly waiting for the NERC approval so that we will engage our customers.
“We published an invitation for expressions of interest, asking companies that are grounded in the area of metre technology and deployment to indicate interest.
“That has been put together and we submitted to the regulator, who will now approve and come back to us.
“With that we will now get the dynamics and educate our customers on the dynamics, tell them who these people are and where they can access them.
“Therefore, it is the process that is now going on,’’ Eze said.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that NERC had in January, directed all electricity distribution company (DisCos) to conduct and complete the enumeration of customers for metres in their various franchise area by March 31st.
During the enumeration, NERC advised customers to oblige the DisCos, saying it was in the customer’s best interest and to improve access to metres and help the DisCos promptly attend to electricity issues.
In 2016, the DisCos conducted massive enumeration of unmetered customers with a view to supplying metres, thus phasing out the controversial estimated billing system.
However, two years after, the majority of the enumerated customers are still without metres.
This, the DisCos had blamed on lack of funds to procure metres for the increasing customer base.