The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission says only four out 11 Electricity Distribution Companies in the country have metered up to 50 per cent of electricity customers under their coverage areas.
NERC in its 2017 third quarter report published on its website, on Wednesday also revealed that only 46 per cent out of total 7,476,856 registered customers had been metered by the 11DisCos.
The report indicated that there was an existing consumer metering gap of 54 per cent in the country during the quarter under review.
According to it, only 25,504 customers are metered during the quarter under review.
He said: “This is grossly lower than the quarterly average of 410,103 meters expected of DisCos as stated in their performance agreement with the Bureau of Public Enterprises.”
According to the report, the metering status of the DisCos under the period is: Benin DisCo, 69.9 per cent, Eko, 60.7, Ikeja 55.9 per cent, Abuja 52.2 per cent, Jos 48.7 per cent.
Others, NERC added are: Port Harcourt 48.5 per cent, Ibadan 41.3 per cent, Kaduna 37.2 per cent, Kano 34.4 per cent, Enugu 27.7 per cent, and Yola 23.6 per cent.
It, however, said the pace of metering rolled out by DisCos remained the priority of the commission, noting that metering was key in accurate billing of customers.
According to the report, NERC has initiated a strategy to address the problem, by developing a framework to ensure rapid roll-out of meters by potential investors under a bankable financing arrangement.
On energy generated, it said that the total power generated stood at 7,568,489 MWh with in the period under review.
This, it said, was 3.2 per cent less than the power generated in the second quarter.
The commission said the industry recorded the peak daily generation of 4,589.70MW on September 6, 2017.
It, however, said despite the increase in the peak generation, the utilisation of the total available generation capacity had been constrained by a combination of factors.
The commission listed the factors to include; inadequate gas supply, transmission bottlenecks and limited distribution networks.
NERC also said the resolution of the technical and operational constraints of the power industry remained a top priority of the commission.
On energy received and Multi-Year Tariff Order load allocation, it noted that energy delivered to DisCos at their trading points declined by 6 per cent in the third quarter and stood at 6,200GWh.
It said out of the total 6,200GWh received by DisCos, 4,768GWh was billed to the end users.
It said: “This is lower than 5,009GWh billed in the second quarter of 2017, reflecting the decrease in generation in the third quarter.”
The commission, however, said the billing efficiency improved marginally to 77 per cent in the third quarter from 76 per cent recorded in the second quarter.
It said: “The level of billing efficiency during the third quarter indicates that for every 10kWh of energy received by a DisCo from the transmission company; approximately 2.3kWh is lost due to technical constraint and illegal connection.
“In other words, for every ₦10 worth of electricity received by DisCos, ₦2.30 is lost due to poor distribution infrastructure and energy theft.”
It revealed that Abuja DisCo had the highest billing efficiency of 83 per cent, while Kaduna DisCo recorded the lowest billing efficiency of 66 per cent.
NERC also indicated that on quarter-on-quarter basis, Ikeja DisCo recorded a significant improvement in its billing efficiency moving from 70 per cent in the second quarter to 81 per cent in the third quarter.
It said: “Other DisCos that recorded improvement in their billing efficiency include Abuja: Benin, Enugu, Ibadan, and Yola.”
On complaints from consumers, it said that a total of 109,048 complaints were lodged by customers to the DisCos in the quarter.
It said: “This translates to an average of 1,185 complaints per day, of the total complaints lodged; however, 76 per cent were resolved.
“Specifically, billing and metering constitute the major concern for electricity customers in Nigeria, accounting for 60 per cent (65,428) of the total complaints received during the quarter under review.”
It said the number indicating interruption of supply accounted for 21 per cent of the total customer complaints during the quarter.
This, it said, implied that one in every five customers was unsatisfied with the quality of supply from the grid.