NERC deregulates meter prices, consumers to purchase meters through competitive bidding

With effect from 1 May, all prices of meters under the Meter Assets Provider (MAP) scheme, will be determined through a competitive bidding process with customers provided with a choice of authorised vendors, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has directed.

MAP is a scheme where consumers pay for meters on behalf of the DisCo in their franchise area.

NERC in an Order issued on Monday and  signed by its Chairman and Commissioner of Legal, Licensing and Compliance, Sanusi Garba and Dafe Akpeneye respectively, announced the deregulation of meter prices under the MAP scheme,

With the new Order, DisCos and meters manufacturers are to determine the price of electricity meters across the country.

Recall that the meter manufacturers have covered the years campaigning for the liberalisation of the price of meters due to the rising inflation and price of the dollar which they said is making them operate at a loss with the continuous regulations 9f its price which is determined by NERC.

The agitation is despite NERC increasing the price in September last year for Single Phase meter increase to N81,975.16 from N58,661.69 while Three Phase meter increased to N143,836.10 from N109,684.36.

“With effect from 1 May 2024, all prices of meters under the MAP scheme shall be determined through a competitive bidding process with customers provided with a choice of authorised vendors.

“The combined effects of sections 8(1 )(c), 8(1 )(d), 16(1 )(h), 31 and 32(1 )(b) of the Regulations on the regulated pricing of meters deployed under the MAP scheme is hereby derogated.

“The cost of prices of meters deployed under the MAP scheme is HEREBY DEREGULATED to enable end-use customers to acquire meters from MAPs of their choice based on competitive open market prices determined from transparent bidding frameworks.

“All MAP permit holders are henceforth eligible to provide services and Transact for the provision of meters and metering services with any DisCo in the Federal Republic of Nigeria with their existing permit. The lifting of the restriction on permitting to operate in all DisCos is subject to the mandatory requirement for MAPs to comply with the associated DisCo specific requirements/specifications”, the Order read in part.

The order also urged all DisCos to provide a publicly accessible online portal on their website where prospective MAPs can view the DisCo’s technical specifications and commercial terms for participation as a MAP within its network area.

“All DisCos are required to conduct a thorough test and confirmation of Specifications for new meters proposed by a prospective MAP and concluded no later than 20 working days from the date the proposed MAP fulfils all the requirements specified on the online portal to participate within its network area”, NERC stated