Attempting to get an exact figure or cost that electricity consumers will pay under the new tariff regime may not be straight forward.
By Muyiwa Lucas, John Ofikhenua, Abuja and Simon Utebor, Yenagoa
This is because several indices have been factored into the tariff to be paid.
Some of these include but not limited to number of hours electricity is supplied to a consumers; breaking consumers into bandwidths, among others.
These varies from DisCo to DisCo.
The tariff regime is strictly based on service availability and quantity of supply. Customers are required to pay based on hours of supply they enjoy. The energy distributors said the review became necessary due to the removal of subsidy in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) market and the current economic realities.
In a message to its consumers the Ikeja Electric, for instance, said that arising from the Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO), the new rate is now N42.73 per KWH from a previous N22.30 per KWH. “Dear Esteemed Customer, Please be inform of the newly approved Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Multi Year Tariff Order (MYTO) payable by customers which takes effect from September 1, 2020. As such your tariff charge has been reviewed and you are now being charged at N42.73 per KWH after 7.5 percent VAT deductions on every vend. Our former charge was N22.30 per KWH,” the message read.
However, the message was silent on the bandwidth of consumers in this category
In arriving at the figures, the IE explained that its customers were clustered into five Tariff Service Bands and the tariff payable by customers based on quality of service. This is measured by the average availability of power delivered over a one month period, factoring the frequency and duration of interruptions and other service parameters. It explained that the old tariff will however be maintained for consumers in Bands D and E until the lkeja Electric improves the quality of service provided to these category of customers.
Explaining the rates, a source in one of the Discos, said it is impossible to place an actual cost on what an electricity consumer will use up in a month. This, he explained, is a function of several factors based on usage and availability of electricity, and equipment used by individuals.
“To make it easy, let me say that all a consumer needs to do is to know the number of kilowatts he consumes every month and simply multiply it by the cost per kilowatt appliocable to the band width he belongs. So if you are on a band of N42.73k per KWH and you use 100 kilowatts monthly, simply multiply it by the cost of a kilowatt which translates to N4, 273 monthly,” the source explained. This amount would have been N2, 270 using the old tariff of N22.73 per KWH.
The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), in a statement by its Manager, Corporate Communication, Mr John Onyi, explained that residential customers on Band A category, who at present receive a minimum of 20 hours electricity daily, would pay N55. 20 per KWH; customers on MD bands such as schools, churches, supermarkets and those using street lights would pay N54.80 per KWH, while industrial customers like manufacturing companies would pay N52.20 per KWH.
The PHEDC noted that customers on Band B and C categories, who presently get a minimum of 16 hours and 12 hours of power supply per day, respectively, now have a higher rate while customers on Band D and E categories, who receive eight and four hours power supply daily, will remain on the old tariff structure pending further directive from NERC. The PHED serves consumers in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states were affected by the new price regime.
The five categories that the DisCos have put their customers are the band A to E. Those under the A are the Premium customers who enjoy longer hours of supply while the E are those that have the least hours of power supply. For instance, the A band enjoy supply for 20 and above daily. The A class of customers pay higher rate than the E class.
The Nation’s findings revealed that after the evaluation of applications of DisCos for tariff change by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), five tariff ‘Service Bands’ representing relative quality of service experience as measured by the committed minimum average hours of supply per day over a period of one month, interruptions (frequency and duration), service voltage levels and a number of other service parameters, were set.
These five service bands are further subdivided into tariff classes as follows: Non-Maximum Demand (Non-MD); Low voltage Maximum Demand (MD 1); Medium/High voltage Maximum Demand (MD 2); Lifeline tariff class (R1) (for consumption of not more than 5OkWh/month). Non-MD, MD 1 and MD 2 represent customers previously known as residential (single and three phases); schools/churches and industrial customers, respectively.
Yet, the tariff was also computed based on the following assumptions: Nigerian rate of inflation for July 2020, which stood at 12.82 percent according to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS); exchange rate and gas price.
Head, Corporate Communication of KEDCO, Alhaji Ibrahim Shawai said the tariff was applied to all customers with pre-payment meters from Sept.1, 2020.
“Customers with post-paid bills shall receive bills under the new tariff in October 2020.
“This initiative will boost supply to all businesses and households improve delivery of service and resolution of grievances, in line with KEDCO’s commitment to all its customers in Kano, Katsina and Jigawa.
“All customers are expected to pay for the supply as per rate approved by Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC),”he said.
Shawai assured that KEDCO will adhere to the new service reflective tariff regime as approved by NERC to ensure that customers get effective service delivery in line with established standards