Power: NERC faults report on ECR suspension

Following reports making the rounds that the Eligible Customer Regulation (ECR) has been suspended, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said that it was not true and that at no time had the commission issued a directive for discontinuation of service to any customer.
In a statement made available to journalists yesterday, the commission said that its attention was drawn to the report in both electronic and print media that the ECR issued by the commission in 2018 had been suspended.
The ECR was designed to provide a very simple process for securing eligibility status from the commission for customer whose consumption is in excess of the minimum threshold of 2MWh/h over a period of one month.
According to the statement, the articles further reported that the Transmission Company of Nigeria Plc (“TCN”) has been directed by the Commission to disconnect certain customers as a consequence of the suspension of the said regulations.
The statement said: “The commission wishes to state that the Eligible Customer Regulations (“ECR”) has not been suspended and at no time has the commission issued a directive for discontinuation of service to any customer.
“The ECR was developed and approved by the commission, pursuant to a declaration made by the Honourable Ministry of Power as provided under section 27 of the Electric Power Sector Reform Act (“EPSRA”).
“The regulations provide for conditions for the grant of eligibility status by the commission. The commission further issued the guidelines for filing for competitive transition charge (“CTC”) to account for loss of revenue by DisCos in compliance with section 28 of the Act.
“In this regard, electricity consumers across the country that comply with the provisions of the ECR may avail themselves of the bilateral contracting opportunities presented by the intent of the provisions in the EPSRA and the ECR.
“The commission has noted references to our letter to the market operator and being referred to as a directive for discontinuation of supply to certain customers.
“We wish to state that this was a straightforward directive of the industry regulator restraining the TCN from recognising unauthorised eligible customer transactions in the market settlement statement without the prior approval of the Commission.
“The commission further directed all unauthorised EC transactions to revert to billion by the distribution companies (“DisCos”) operating in the franchise area where the customers are located but without disruption in supply until the customer is conferred with eligibility status pursuant to the requirement of the ECR
NEEC said it was important to note that whereas the majority of these customers pursuing EC status have always been served through 132kV transmission llines, the billing of the customers resided with the distribution companies (“DisCos”) unless a customer elects to purchase energy under the framework of the ECR.
Meanwhile, Eko Electricity Distribution Plc also issued a statement countering reports that it was at the verge of adjusting its tariff.
The distribution company advised its customers to disregard all such reports not emanating from the management or the company’s website – www.ekedp.com.
“While we continue to review effective and regulatory strategies to manage the impact of changes to macro-economic indices affecting end-user tariffs, the general public will be duly informed, in the event of any changes to the end-user tariff.
“We advise all customers to disregard all communications that have not been issued by management or published on the company’s website www.ekedp.com,” the statement added.

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