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NERC Fines Abuja Disco N200m for Wrongly Billing Residents



NERC Fines Abuja Disco N200m for Wrongly Billing residents

Directs Customer Refunds

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has taken enforcement action against the Abuja Electricity Distribution Plc (AEDC) for extorting its customers via wrong application of the new tariff order.

The sanction followed failure of AEDC to comply with the prescribed customer band classifications for the new tariff billing in line with the Supplementary Order to the April 2024 Multi-Year Tariff Order 2024 for AEDC.

The regulatory agency said it took the decision after a detailed review and customer feedback, which revealed that AEDC had applied the new tariff to all customer bands, contrary to the Order, which was designed to ensure fair billing practices.

Recall that the federal government through NERC on Wednesday approved a circa 300% increase in electricity tariff for customers captured in the Band A category. The category constitutes just 15% of total electricity users in the country and are expected to enjoy minimum of 20 hours/day measured over one week.

Customer of AEDC however had filed complaints with the regulator that the Disco had embarked on indiscriminate imposition of the new tariff hike on its customers beyond those in the Band A class as clearly stipulated.

Responding to this sharp practice, NERDC slammed ARDC with the N200,000 and also ordered it to reimburse customers already affected by its actions.

NERC said: “AEDC is therefore mandated to: Reimburse all customers in Bands B, C, D and E respectively that were billed above the allowed customer categories/tariff bands provided in the Order.

“…Reimburse through the provision of the balance of customer tokens that the affected customers would be entitled to receive at the applicable rates and all token reimbursements shall be issued to the affected customers by 11 April 2024.

“…Pay the sum of N200,000,000.00 (Two Hundred Million Naira) as a fine for the flagrant breach of the Commission’s Order. File evidence of compliance with the directives in a & c with the Commission by 12 April 2024.”

Meanwhile, the commission justified its action against AEDC saying it underscores its commitment to protecting consumer rights and ensuring equitable practices within Nigeria’s electricity sector.

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