By Modupe Gbadeyanka
As part of efforts to close the metering gap in the country, the federal government, through the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), came up with the Meter Asset Providers (MAPs).
This platform gives third party companies licenced by government to provide metres to customers of electricity in the country and the scheme has since commenced on May 1, 2019.
One of the leading electricity distribution firms, Ikeja Electric, embraced the MAPs so as to serve its customers better and more efficiently.
The company, in its efforts to make the process of obtaining a prepaid metre hassle-free for its customers, has explained in simple terms how to go about it.
In its Frequently Ask Questions (FAQs) sector of its website, Ikeja Electric said, “In line with NERC regulations, customers are expected to pay for meters. The payment for the meter by the customer can either be upfront or in instalments.”
It further noted that a single-phase meter costs N38,850 and a three-phase meter costs N70,350. These are all inclusive of VAT.”
Ikeja Electric explained that, “Customers who cannot afford to pay for their meters upfront can pay in instalments. The instalment payment is by regulation referred to as the Monthly Metering Service Charge (MSC) and will continue until full amortization of the meter asset cost, as agreed with the MAPs.”
It stated that, “A meter is for one customer account only. However, customers with more than one account can have multiple meters.
Ikeja Electric also said for customers who made upfront payments for acquiring the metres, the meters will be provided and installed within 10 working days of the payment and for payments in instalments, customers will be metered in line with the MAPs installation schedule.
It further said after installation, the meter will be processed for setup and activation within two days and customers will be able to vend for energy using any of the IE payment channels.
On if customers will have to pay any additional charges for meter request, Ikeja Electric simply said, “No. The total amount payable is as stated for single and three phase meters respectively. However, where a customer location does not have the right service wiring, customers will be advised to purchase one. This can be obtained from any licensed electricity vendor.”
On how customers can pay for the MAP Meters, the firm said, “All payments for meters should be made into the authorised bank account to be advised by the MAP. No customer should pay cash for meters to any individual.”
Commenting on how to obtain the prepaid metres, Ikeja Electric advised customers to complete or update their details by visiting http://map.ikejaelectric.com/. It also said customers can send an email to CustomerCare@ikeJaelectric.com or call on any of 01-448-3900, 01-700-0250 and 0700-022-5543 for further information.
On if a customer decides not to get a meter, the company stressed that, “The regulation stipulates that all unmetered customers must be metered under the MAP scheme. Customers who refuse meters will be denied service by the distribution company,” adding that all meters will be procured and installed via MAPs.
Speaking on customers having unsettled post-paid bill before applying for a meter, the electricity firm advised that the bill be cleared by taking advantage of the various repayment options available during the KYC process.
“Outstanding balance can also be rolled over into the customer’s prepaid account and paid in instalments in line with IE’s instalment plans,” it said.
Answering question as to whether the Meter Service Charge (MSC) is the same as the Suspended Fixed Charge, the company said, “MSC is not the same as the Suspended Fixed Charge (CFC), noting that the MSC is the monthly repayment of the cost of the meter over a period of time.
On the event of customer’s relocation to another apartment after paying for the meters, Ikeja Electric said if the relocation is within its franchise area, the customer is expected to notify the DisCo and once notified, the company will transfer the service to the new location including the credit on the customer’s account.
“Customers are not allowed to remove their meters from their locations,” Ikeja Electric emphasised.
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