Abuja electricity company to roll out 8,000 prepaid meters monthly

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Mr Neil Croucher, the Managing Director, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) on Wednesday said the company had concluded plans to roll out 8,000 pre-paid meters monthly.

He said that the planned distribution of the meters in its areas of coverage was part of strategies to end estimated billing of customers.

The states covered by AEDC are Abuja, Nasarawa, Kogi and Niger.

Croucher made this known in Abuja at the monthly Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) meeting with electricity stakeholders.

He explained that the company would install no fewer than 100,000 meters in the areas annually through the monthly installation of 8,000 units in the next five years.

He decried the poor power supply situation in the country and said the company was working with relevant stakeholders to reverse the trend.

Croucher said that the company was striving to evolve new technology that would ensure better meter reading for the 690,000 post-paid meter customers before the pre-paid meters would be installed.

He explained that hand-held meter reading device would be deployed every month or every three months as recently directed by the NERC.

He cautioned consumers against illegal connection, stating that anyone caught would be appropriately sanctioned.

The NERC Chairman, Dr Sam Amadi, said it had become necessary to stop estimated billing system to avoid exploitation of electricity consumers.

“This estimation and crazy billings must stop. For those with post-paid meters, the Discos must go and read those meters, and any month that they don’t read the meter, they should use a baseline.

“The idea is that even if there is no meter, that person should not be over-estimated or billed,” he said.

On the poor gas supply to power generation situation, he said that the Federal Government and NERC were exploring a new gas technology that would use compressed gas to fast-track the gas-to-power-generation process.

Amadi, who decried the menace of pipeline vandalism to the gas-to-power project, said that the new technology would not involve the use of pipelines to convey gas to the power plants.

“Today we have got a technology-based solution from a World Bank consultant showing us how we can use compressed gas, and through some technology, and re-gasify it in the power plants.

“The attraction is that it will avoid the use of gas pipelines and

all the associated risks of vandalism and all that,’’ he said.

He said that the generation companies would take it up with the consultant to ensure that there was more gas, especially for embedded generation.

He said that the innovation in gas supply process would greatly help in accelerating gas supply to power generating companies.

Amadi explained the need for distribution companies and state governments to key into the embedded power generation system as a way of augmenting power supply to the citizens.