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Frequently Asked Questions

1. I am not happy about my service in my home or area. How should I channel my complaint?
You will need to make a written complaint at the nearest Customer Care Unit (CCU) located within the electricity distribution company serving you. They are expected to resolve your problem within 15 working days. If you are not satisfied with their response, contact the nearest Forum office. Forum offices have been set up to help resolve problems that the CCUs have not resolved for the customer (click here for more on Forums). If you are still dissatisfied with the Forum, contact NERC with the details of your complaint (click here for our contact details).

2. How much do I pay for electricity?
The country is divided into eleven electricity distribution zones. First of all, you will need to determine what zone you fall under (see distribution map). Below are links to all electricity distribution zones:
ABUJA ZONE
BENIN ZONE
EKO ZONE
ENUGU ZONE
IBADAN ZONE
IKEJA ZONE
JOS ZONE
KADUNA ZONE
KANO ZONE
PORTHARCOURT ZONE
YOLA ZONE

For more on electricity tariffs, click here (How much do I pay for Electricity?)

 

3. What is Fixed Charge and why must I pay it?
The fixed charge is a part of a customerís electricity bill that is charged on a monthly basis. The fixed charge is intended to allow for the recovery the costs associated with the fixed or permanent investments (e.g. poles, cables, transformers etc.) needed to generate, transmit and distribute electricity. The fixed charge is a universal best practice and is not peculiar to Nigeria. It is to be borne by electricity customers at all times, once they are connected to supply. It is not tied to consumption (click here for more on Fixed Charge coming soon).


4. How can I contact Forum Offices
Forum offices were set up as to address complaints of customers who are dissatisfied with the manner such complaints were handled by the Customer Care Units (CCUs). There are currently eight Forum offices operating in various parts of the country. For details on how to contact them, click here.


5. Electricity bill printout explained
Want an explanation of all the things that make up your printed bill? Click here for a pre-paid bill and click here for a sample post-paid bill (coming soon).

 

6. Why do I get ìcrazy billsî? What is NERC doing to stop this?
Crazy bills are bills that are given to a customer that does not reflect the correct consumption of that customer. Such crazy bills usually come in the form of estimated bills where the electricity distribution company gives the customer an estimate that far exceeds what that customer could possibly have consumed within the billing period. NERC has issued an estimated billing methodology or formula, and has ordered all electricity distribution companies to apply this formula in estimating their customers. This will ensure that customers pay for only what they consume. (click here for methodology)


7. How do I get a pre-paid meter?
If a customer wants a meter, he or she should apply to the electricity distribution company, and the company should then ensure that the meter is provided free of charge (with the exception of the necessary costs associated with installation). Another option open to the customer is the application for meters through the CAPMI scheme (click here for more details on CAPMI). The CAPMI Scheme enables customers apply and pay upfront for meters. The cost of the meter, less cost associated with installation, will then be refunded to the customer over a period of time through a reduction of the monthly fixed charge, until the customer recovers the cost of the meter (minus installation cost).


8. If transformers are faulty, are residents responsible for its provision and installation?
Faulty transformers are supposed to be replaced by the electricity distribution company within forty-eight hours of the official complaint being made. The electricity distribution company is responsible for such replacements or repairs. However, in the event that the electricity distribution company is unable to speedily replace the faulty transformer residents are advised go into discussions with the company and agree on the terms of the replacement of the affected transformer, if they so wish to assume the responsibility of the company. This is bearing in mind that any equipment purchased and integrated into the electricity system or grid automatically becomes that of the company.  

9. What is NERC and what does NERC really do?
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was established in October, 2005 as part of the reforms in the electricity sector. NERC is not NEPA (the defunct Nigerian Electric Power Authority), but it can be compared to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) which regulates telecommunications in Nigeria. For more about NERC, click here: About Us
NERC is to ensure that:
-    The electricity market is efficient;
-    Prices charged are fair;
-    Access to electricity is maximised both in urban and rural areas;
-    Rights of the customers are protected;
-    Electricity is adequate, reliable and safe;
-    Ensure that the there is a level playing field for the customers, operators and intending investors.


10. How do I contact NERC?
NERC has its head office in Abuja, and also has 6 Zonal Offices in all geopolitical zones of Nigeria namely:
HEAD OFFICE:
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission
Plot 1099, First Avenue - Off Shehu Shagari Way, CBD
P.M.B. 136, Garki, Abuja.

 

 

ABOUT NERC FAQ's


When was the EPSR Act, 2005 enacted?
The Electricity Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 was enacted on March 11th 2005. The Act is the legal framework through which government intends to address the countryís power problems to ensure that power is adequate, safe, reliable and affordable.
 
Why the need for Power Sector Reform?
The history of electricity in Nigeria is well known. It is generally inadequate, unavailable in most rural communities, and unreliable where available. Prior to the reforms in the power sector, the industry was a monopoly run by a single government owned utility company handling generation, transmission and distribution of electricity. Over the years, this single utility company had metamorphosed in name from Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN), to Nigerian Electric Power Authority (NEPA) and finally, Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). To address the power problems, a provision of the Act has further broken down the business of generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in the country into 18 separate entities made up of 11 Distribution companies, six Generation companies and one transmission company.
 
What is NERC and when was it established?
NERC is The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. The Electric Power Reform Sector Act, 2005 gave birth to the Commission. This is an independent watchdog and regulatory body for the power industry and was inaugurated on October 31st 2005.
 
What is the mandate of NERC?
The Commission was created to oversee the orderly reform of the electricity industry and mandated as follows: To Ensure adequate, safe, reliable and affordable electricity to all consumers.
 
What is the composition of NERC?              
The Commission consists of the Chairmanís office and six Divisions as follows:
1. Market Competition and Rates
2. Legal, Licensing and Enforcement.
3. Finance and Management Services.
4. Government and Consumer Affairs
5. Research and Development
6. Engineering, Standards and Safety
A Commissioner heads each Division.
 
What is the Mission Statement of NERC?  
To promote and ensure an investor-friendly industry and efficient market structure to meet the needs of Nigeria for: safe, adequate, reliable and affordable electricity.
     Vision:   electricity on demand
     Motto:    'keeping the lights on'

 

Our Core values:
1.    Leadership - excellence, transparency, courage and discipline.
2.    Professionalism - proficiency, diligence, respect, fairness and accountability.
3.    Teamwork - creating an environment of loyalty, trust, collaboration and stakeholder engagement.
4.    Good Governance - making decisions in a fair, transparent and consistent manner, in compliance with the laws of Nigeria and our regulations.


What is NERC doing to protect customers?
1. The Commission has established the following consumer protection measures:  Customer Complaints Handling Standards and Procedures; Connections and Disconnections Procedures for Electricity Services;  Customer Service Standards for Distribution companies and Meter Reading;  Cash Collection and Credit Management for electricity supply.
2. The Commission has embarked on numerous public enlightenment campaigns titled ëPower Consumer Assemblyí to enlighten consumers on their rights and obligations.
3. The Commission has established a Health and Safety Standard Manual and has approved and established a Grid, Distribution and Metering Codes to ensure standards and safety in the sector.
 
What are the individual rights of consumers?
1. The right to safety
2. The right to basic need.
3. The right to be informed
4. The right to choose
5. The right to be heard
6. The right to redress
7. The right to consumer education
8. The right to a healthy environment

What are the rights of electricity consumers?
1. Right to electric services
2. Right to a meter
3. Right to refund when over billed
4. Right to properly installed meter
5. Right to prompt investigation of complaints
6. Right to information on scheduled power interruptions.
7. Right to transparent billing
8. Right to due process prior to disconnection of electric service
9. Right to be notified prior to disconnection
10. Right to reconnection of electric service
11. Right to file complaints before NERC
 
What are the obligations of electricity consumers?
1. Pay bills for electricity consumed
2. Pay a security deposit requested by the electricity distribution company and other requirements for connection stipulated by NERC
3. Vigilant protection of electrical installations
4. Cordiality towards electricity workers
5. Customer (User) compliance to the requirements of the Distribution code
 
What redress mechanisms are available to consumers?
The Commission has established a procedure to ensure that customer complaints are expeditiously treated by the Distribution Companies. The requirement now is that at minimum, each Distribution Company must set up a window to address customer issues, known as Customer Care Unit (CCU).
Customer Care Units (CCU) of the Distribution Companies are now responsive to the complaints of consumers. The new initiative of the Commission to create a customer service attitude in the sector is paying off.

In addition, the Commission has established a Forum for hearing and resolving customer complaints on appeal in the operational area of every Distribution Licensee. A complainant must first report any grievance to the Customer Complaints Unit (CCU) of the Distribution Company before bringing such unresolved complaints to the Forum.
 
What does the Commission say about the issue of estimated or crazy bills?
The Commission has addressed estimated billing by working with the industry on the minimum number of months or period within which one can continue to receive estimated billing. The Commissionís Regulation on Standards of Performance for Distribution Companies 1.10 stipulates three months or 90 days after which the Utility Firm must find every means possible to read the meter for actual energy consumed if the premises is metered.
 
What effort is the Commission making to ensure uninterrupted power supply?
In this regard, the Commission has established Rules and Regulations for private investors, and has to date granted generation licenses up to 70 Independent Power Producers (IPPs) is setting standards in power quality and reliability of electricity supply in Nigeria.
 
What is the Commissionís rule on Mass Disconnections?
The Commission is paying attention to consumer rights and obligations. There are procedures for connections and disconnections stated in the Connection & Disconnection Procedures for Electricity Services Section 2(2.1).  The Commission has put to stop ëmass disconnectioní where a group of customers are disconnected just because of a few defaulters, which leads to wrongful disconnections. Note that those who owe past overdue bills would be subject to disconnections. However, there are procedures for doing that. The Utility Company is to work with those who owe bills, give them a reasonable time to pay their bills, if everything fails, they will give them a final warning after which the consumer shall be subject to disconnection.
 
What is MYTO?
Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) is a methodology used for determining tariffs across the electricity value chain. MYTO sets a 15 year tariff path with bi-annual minor reviews (taking cognizance macroeconomic indicators such as inflation rates, cost of gas and exchange rate) and a 5 yearly  major reviews.

What effort is the Commission making to ensure uninterrupted power supply?
In this regard, the Commission has established rules and regulations for private investors, and has so far granted generation licenses up to 70 Independent Power Producers (IPPs). In addition to the issuance of licences, the Commission has come up with numerous regulations governing the industry.