Distribution Companies are allowed to disconnect customers who have not paid their electricity bills for at least 12 days, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission said in a recent statement.
In the statement titled, ‘Customer Protection Regulations, 2023’, and shared on the NERC website on April 20, 2023, the NERC said 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.
The NERC said that the payment date must be, at least, 10 days after the bill was delivered, and DisCos can then disconnect two working days later.
The NERC said, “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 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 regulator added that a customer may be disconnected without notice if he is connected to the DisCo’s network in an unauthorised manner.
DisCos are also empowered to deny a customer’s request for electricity supply if such customers failed to provide a valid means of identification or to pay the security deposit requested by the company.
It said, “Where the customer’s connection is considered to be dangerous to the integrity of the network and/or affects the quality of supply to other customers.
“Where the DisCo is not granted access to read a meter that is located within the customer’s premises.
“Whenever a customer requests a distribution company to disconnect electricity supply to his premises, the distribution company shall disconnect the supply after confirming that the customer’s request will not impact other customers in the premises that require continued supply.
“The distribution company shall ensure that it is able to monitor consumption to the premises of the customer that has requested a disconnection that was not effected due to the impact on other customers in the premises, to assess the customer’s consumption.”