How To Lawfully Contest Your Electricity Bill
Most Nigerians are confronted with the vexatious responsibility of paying for abominably high electricity bills despite the scarce availability of power supply.
75 percent of Nigerians live in vicinities where electricity is enjoyed about as much as Nigeria enjoys snow-fall. A whole month of infrequent supply; days of total blackout, sprinkled with hours of meagre supply.
At the end of the month, bills received do not match the duration of power supply availability. Distribution companies insist that payment must be made regardless, to avoid immediate disconnection.
All things being equal, this would enrage the average Nigerian thus causing them to maim electricity officials who go about disconnecting uncompliant customers.
However, violence is never the solution to any conflict, and this dissension between electricity distributors and their customers is no different.
Many are oblivious to their right to contest dissatisfactory electricity bills.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s Meter reading, Billing, Cash Collection and Credit Management for Electricity Supplies Regulation 2007, does not only make available regulations that govern the billing of consumers by Distribution Companies, but also gives consumers the right to contest electricity bills issued by the distribution company.
In this regard, a disgruntled customer is required to take the following steps:
- Write a letter of complaint to the DISCO Business Unit serving your area. Inform them that you do not have a pre-paid meter or an analogue meter and you are suspicious of the bills handed to you as a result of this.
- Ensure that the DISCO acknowledges receipt of the letter
- The customer is mandated to give the DISCO 15 days to respond
- After 15 days without a response, write another letter to the NERC FORUM OFFICE in your location. To obtain address of these offices click here
- Copies of the letters sent to the DISCO must be attached to the letter sent to the NERC FORUM OFFICE.
- The FORUM will contact you, informing you of the set date for hearing.
- You do not need a lawyer. Present your case at the hearing.
- The FORUM will cancel the estimated bills and mandate the DISCO to provide you with pre-paid meter.
NOTE: During the process of rectification, the customer will however continue to pay the last undisputed bill or the average of the bill in the last 12 months which was undisputed.
Credit: IWIN 20-04-2018