The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has stated that distribution companies (DisCos) have been empowered to disconnect consumers who default in paying their electricity bills for at least 12 days.
The Commission stated this in its ‘Customer Protection Regulations, 2023’ released over the weekend.
NERC is empowered by the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, 2005 to ensure an efficiently managed electricity supply industry that meets the yearnings of Nigerians for stable, adequate and safe electricity supply.
The Comission stated that 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.
In meeting the conditions before DisCos can exercise their rights to disconnect customers for failure to pay their bills as and when due, NERC said the payment date must be clearly stated on the bill.
The Commission added that the payment date must be, at least, 10 days after the bill was delivered to the consumer, 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.
“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.”
The regulatory body added further that DisCos must verify from its records that payment has not been made by the customer before disconnection.