Frequently Asked Questions
You are required to make a written complaint at your DisCo’s nearest Customer Care Unit (CCU) in your area. Please ensure that you receive an acknowledgement of your complaint as such confirmation may be required if the matter needs to be escalated beyond the CCU. The DisCo is expected to resolve your complaint within 15 working days depending on the complexity of the situation.
Where you are not satisfied with the response of the CCU, please contact the nearest NERC Consumer Forum office. NERC has established Forum offices to resolve customer complaints not resolved by the CCUs.
(click here to find the NERC Forum office near you).
If you are dissatisfied with the Forum resolution on the complaint, then contact the NERC head office with the details of your complaint. NERC shall review your complaint including the processes followed by the DisCo and Forum in arriving at a final decision on the complaint.
(click here for our contact details).
2. People on my street are tampering with electrical installations, what should I do?
Tampering with electrical installations is very dangerous not only to the people involved in the tampering, but also for the environs. Please report all issues of tampering to your nearest DisCo service center. You can also call the DisCo’s whistle blower number or customer service numbers to report the issue.
3. What is the procedure for the disconnection of my premises by a Distribution Company due to non-payment?
Whenever a customer defaults in making payment by the due date, the Distribution Company shall disconnect the customer’s electricity supply following a procedure outlined in the Customer Protection Regulation issued by the Commission. (A copy of the Customer Protection Regulation is available here).
4. What is the NERC’s approved customer complaints mechanism? How do I escalate my complaints where I am not satisfied with the DisCo response?
Where a customer is dissatisfied with a resolution of complaint by a DisCo, such complaint should be escalated to the Forum Office within your area. (click here to find the NERC Forum office near you).
5. Why is there no NERC Forum Office in my area or state?
NERC is establishing many new Forum Offices across the country, and it may take some time to bring such an office to the vicinity of all customers. However, customers with unresolved complaints from the CCU may avail themselves of other channels (formal letter with supporting documents, email) available for filing complaints to the Forum Office.
Electricity consumers are not required to pay for the repair and/or replacement of DisCo assets except in cases where it is proven that the customer(s) willfully destroyed such assets. Any customer asked by the staff of a utility to make payment for the repair of any asset should kindly report such person in writing to the DisCo’s office nearest to them or call the whistle blower/customer care numbers of the DisCo to report such incidence. Such customers may also send a written complaint directly to the Commission.
7. Our community applied to be connected to electricity supply, and the DisCo gave us a list of assets to buy before we can be connected. Is this an approved procedure by the NERC?
Customers are not expected to purchase poles, transformers and other assets for the utilities considering that the cost of such items have already been incorporated for recovery through the electricity tariff paid by the consumers. Ideally, the DisCos should finance the purchase of such assets through their Internal Generated Revenue (IGR), loan from banks or shareholders’ funds. Where the DisCo is unable to source the required funding for the acquisition of required materials, then customers may opt to sign an agreement with the utility for the purchase of such assets with the understanding that the customers will be refunded for the full cost of those assets over an agreed period of time.
Customers are to please note that it is not the responsibility of communities to buy/supply poles, transformers, and similar items for the DisCos. However, if any community wishes to contribute to the purchase of such assets to facilitate or expedite connection to supply, such communities must ensure that they strictly adhere to the provisions of the NERC regulation on the investment in electricity networks for their guidance as this would ensure the funds provided by such communities are recovered over an agreed period of time. (Please click here for the Investment in Network Regulation).
8. A transformer was donated to our community, and the DisCo is requesting that we donate it to them before they can energize it. Is this the proper connection process approved by NERC?
The Commission does not endorse communities purchasing or donating assets to the DisCos unless this is in line with subsisting regulation on third party investment in electricity network where a provision is made for a refund of the cost to customers. Any community that voluntarily decides to do so should ensure that they have a well-documented agreement with the DisCo on the terms and conditions for such purchase or donation.
9. Why is the DisCo refusing to refund us the cost of transformers, pole and other assets we bought for our connection?
The Commission has since 2015 issued a regulation to guide customers on investing in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Networks. Please click HERE for a copy of applicable regulations before you embark on procuring any assets for the DisCo.
Service-Based Tariff (SBT) is a scheme introduced by the Commission on the 1st of November 2020 to improve service delivery to end-user Customers and ensure that electricity tariffs paid by end-user Customers are a reflection of the services delivered by the Distribution Companies based on the number of hours of electricity supply per day. The regulatory scheme is also designed to support investments towards the improvement of power infrastructure and consequently improvement in quality of supply.
Under the SBT, consumers are classified in Bands A to E as follows:
Band A: Minimum of 20 Hours
Band B: Minimum of 16 Hours
Band C: Minimum of 12 Hours
Band D: Minimum of 8 Hours
Band E: Minimum of 4 Hours
11. How do I know my electricity tariff?
Your electricity tariff is indicated on your electricity bills issued by the DisCo or electricity vending receipts for customers on prepaid meters.
12. The quality of supply in my area is not in accordance with the minimum number of hours of service stipulated in the service-based tariff. What will the Commission do about this?
The Commission has made requisite provisions in the SBT order to ensure that customers enjoy supply in accordance with their service bands. Where there is failure by the DisCo to deliver on the approved minimum hours of supply, the performance of the DisCo will be evaluated over a period of 60 days. Upon verification by the Commission, the rates payable by all customers in that cluster (area) will be adjusted in line with the quality of service delivered over the period.
13. Our community wants to have a better service under the SBT? What is the process on engaging our DisCo towards migrating our service quality to a higher band?
Please write a formal letter to the DisCo detailing out the challenge of service quality in the area and follow up with engagement on the issue. The Commission may be copied in the letter with a view to facilitating the service objectives of the community.
14. Is it true that when I divide the amount I vended for my prepaid meter (in Naira) by the number of kWhr units indicated on the receipt, I can calculate my tariff?
That is correct. However, the VAT payable as tax should be deducted.
15. How can I get information about any tariff reviews by my DisCo?
Your service provider (DisCo) is required to advise you of any tariff reviews in your bill or through other mediums of communication. Please check the website of your service provider for more details.
The Commission has provided several ways through which a DisCo can acquire and install meters for its customers. Where the roll out program of a DisCo is unacceptably long, a customer may opt to pay upfront for a meter under the provisions of the Meter Asset Provider Regulation. The option provides you with the opportunity to be metered within ten (10) working days of making your full payment and a repayment of the cost over a period of time approved by the Commission.
17. Who are Meter Asset Providers (MAPs)
MAPs are companies granted approval by NERC to procure and install meters for customers of the Distribution Companies. Customers are required to make an upfront payment for the meter and the cost recovered over a period of time approved by the Commission.
18. How can I acquire a meter under MAP?
Please refer to the website of your DisCo for the detailed procedure and payment instructions.
19. I have paid for a meter under MAP. It is over ten (10) working days, and I am yet to be metered?
If you have paid for meter under the MAP/NMMP regulation and you are not metered within 10 working days, please report the matter directly to the Commission with evidence of payment for resolution. You can forward your complaint with evidence of payment to email@example.com.
20. I have paid for a meter under MAP, would I be refunded the cost of the meter by the DisCo?
All customers that have made payment for meters under the MAP scheme will be refunded through energy credits over a period of time approved by the Commission.
21. When will the rollout of meters under the National Mass Metering Program (NMMP) reach my area?
The National Mass Metering Program is expected to span several years to complete depending on the DisCo’s metering gap. All DisCos have a meter roll out plan as approved by the Commission. Please contact your Disco for information on the roll out timeline to your area.
22. I am moving out of my apartment. Can I take my meter away since I paid for it under MAP Regulation?
Customers are not allowed to move an electricity meter from one property to another. The cost of a meter purchased through MAP upfront payment scheme is expected to be refunded by the DisCo. It is the responsibility of the property owner to acquire a meter under MAP, where there is a challenge with immediate metering by the DisCo.
23. My neighbor has bypassed his meter and I know it is illegal to do so. Who should I report to?
Please report to the DisCo service center nearest to you immediately. You may also call their whistle blower or customer care numbers of the DisCo to report the incidence.
24. Where a DisCo declares my meter “obsolete” or “faulty” due to no fault of mine, whose responsibility should it be to replace the meter?
The provisions of the Metering Code and reaffirmed by the Order on Structured Replacement of Faulty and Obsolete end-use Customer Meters clearly states that if a metering system fault occurs, the DisCo shall provide urgent service to repair or replace the meter as soon as is reasonably practicable and in any event within two (2) working days of the DisCo discovering the fault.
25. My meter has suddenly developed a fault and the DisCo says it will need replacement. What happens to the credit balance I may have on the faulty meter?
The Commission has ordered that for such issues, the customer and DisCo representative shall jointly note the units on the meter being replaced and the customer must be credited with these units within 48 hours after the installation of the new meter.
26. There is a sticker on my electricity meter. What does it signify?
The sticker placed on your meter by your electricity distribution company contains a bar/QR code that when scanned displays relevant information on a customer captured from an enumeration exercise. The customer enumeration exercise commenced in 2016 and is a continuous exercise to allow the DisCo capture relevant customer information and associated infrastructure providing service to your property. Customers are thus required to cooperate with the DisCo staff when they visit your property for this purpose.
27. What if I do not want meter installed on my premises?
Any customer that denies access to his premises for the purpose of inspection and installation of a meter shall be disconnected from supply and denied service by the Distribution Company until access is granted to the premises. In other words, if you reject a meter from your Distribution Company, you will be disconnected from the electricity supply.
28. Why is the DisCo asking me to pay for meter under MAP. Is it not their responsibility to provide me with a meter free of charge.
The DisCos have a wide metering gap, and it will take a couple of years to install meters for all customers. NERC has provided an opportunity for customers to leapfrog the rollout program of the DisCos by paying for a MAP meter upfront with the recovery of the amount paid over a period of time approved by NERC.
29. What is the cost of meter under the MAP?
The cost of meters under MAP are as regulated and approved by NERC. Please consult your service provider (DisCo) for the latest prices approved by the regulator.
30. Who owns the meter where I paid for it under MAP?
All meters shall remain the property of the DisCo and associated with the premises where it is installed. This is particularly relevant as the MAP Regulation provides for the repayment of the cost of the meter to customers through energy credits over a period approved by the Commission.
31. The Commission has always promised customers that the cost of meters paid under MAP shall be refunded to customers. When will I get my refund and in what manner?
The Commission has just released an Order for the commencement of the repayment of the cost of meters under MAP to customers. All customers who have paid for meters under MAP thus far shall be eligible for the repayment through energy credits. The effective date for the repayment is April 1, 2023.
32. How many years should my meter be in service before it becomes obsolete or decommissioned by the DisCo?
A meter as a piece of electrical equipment may become faulty or inaccurate due to several reasons but not necessarily years in service. All meters are tested and certified fit for use by accredited meter test laboratories prior to installation. A DisCo may at any time decide to test a customer’s meter for accuracy and may therefore decide to replace the meter in line with the procedure approved by the Commission.
The Commission has issued a Capping order since 2020 that ensures that unmetered customers will be billed in a transparent manner that puts them at par, with their metered counterparts in their area. The Commission does not allow for customers to be billed above the energy cap. To this effect, the Commission has published the caps for all feeders in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
34. What are the payment options for the settlement of electricity bills?
A customer may settle his electricity bill using cash, cheques, POS, E-channels. MDA are not allowed to settle bills in cash.
35. I just moved into an apartment and the DisCo is billing me for energy consumed by the former tenant. What should I do?
Customers are required to always find out the billing status of an apartment before renting it. Any customer that moves into apartment with outstanding electricity bill should immediately notify the distribution company in writing. The DisCo shall thereafter be required to ensure that any outstanding debt is assigned to the appropriate customer.
36. My meter recently developed fault and the DisCo placed me on estimation. I do not understand why the estimate is far more than what I used to pay when I had a meter.
NERC has issued an Order that new meters must be installed upon the removal of faulty/obsolete meters, and the customer shall not be placed on estimated billing on account of the DisCo's failure to install a replacement meter after the removal of the faulty/obsolete meter. However, where the DisCo is unable to provide a replacement meter within a billing period, an average of the last three (3) months billing/vending shall be applied for the purpose of determining a customer's energy consumption.
37. What do I do when a DisCo decides to remove my meter and migrate me to estimated billing?
A DisCo is required by the regulations of the Commission to replace a defective meter at its own cost and therefore not allowed to migrate metered customers to estimated billing. Any instance of forceful migration to estimated billing should be reported to the Commission.
All regulatory information on how customers with an energy offtake of more than
2MWh/h may become an eligible customer can be found here: (Please click HERE for a copy of the Eligible Customer Regulations).
39. I am currently on estimated billing. How do I know the energy cap for my area approved by the Commission?
The energy caps for the purpose of estimated billing for all distribution feeders are available on the Commission’s website.
40. When will I get refund for charge made by the DisCo over the approved cap by NERC?
The Commission regularly reviews the performance of DisCos as it relates to compliance with the energy caps. A report is thereafter sent to all DisCos on cases of overbilling beyond the caps with a directive to adjust bills in subsequent months.
41. Why is my area experiencing poor supply most of the time while we read about “DisCos rejecting power” in the media? Are the DisCos not expected to take all the power generated to serve their customers?
There are several reasons why some load centres experience poor supply for extended periods of time which include:
• Overloaded infrastructure
• Tampering of power assets
• Community restiveness
• Inadequate generation
• Poor electrical installation in a building
• Fault on the distribution and transmission networks
• Acts of vandalism on gas pipelines and power infrastructure
• Extreme weather events.
• Routine maintenance on power infrastructure.
42. How can I report a power outage or electrical fault to a DisCo?
An incidence of power outage or fault may be reported in writing, email or social media handles of the electricity distribution company.
A customer may apply for a new connection by filling an application form and submitting with supporting documentation to the DisCo. The DisCo shall thereafter inspect the property to ensure the electricity can be connected in a safe manner.