NERC roles out new guidelines for connection, disconnection procedure
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has developed new guidelines on connection and disconnection in the electricity service industry.NERC in the new order titled: “Order on Timeline to Facilitate Grid Connection,” obtained by The Guardian, signed by the vice Chairman, Sanusi Garba, and Commissioner, Legal, Licensing and Enforcement,, Dafe Akpeneye, said it has commenced the process of developing a regulation taking into account the input from some electricity distribution licencees that would facilitate the timelines for getting connected accordingly.
It has therefore set June 1, 2017, as the minimum timelines, for all distribution licencees to strictly adhere to the new rule in connecting customers to the distribution network.
According to NERC, it has come to the notice of the Commission that the former regulation did not set benchmarks stipulating the procedures, timelines and costs for new electricity connections from a customer to his nearest distribution company network.
NERC said the new benchmarks, which are expected to be achieved within 14 days, will to serve as the minimum requirements for the distribution licencees to facilitate electricity connection to customers.
NERC stated: “In the new procedure, the licensees are expected to submit application and payment to utility company (if applicable), undertake site visits and develop cost estimate.
“Purchase and install external connection equipment by licensed contractor; obtain right-of-way permit from relevant state, ministry, department or agency; make arrangement and undertake test and inspection of installation facilities and issuance of clearance certificate through distribution licensees.
“Inspection should be carried out by a joint team of engineers from distribution licensees and Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency (NEMSA).”
Meter installation by distribution licensee to ensure electricity flow is expected to be completed within five days.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has advised electricity customers to play their role in the success of the industry, through the timely payment of bills, ending the vandalism of power assets, and the assault of electricity workers who seek to install or read meters.
He reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to responsibilities in the industry, through policies such as the power sector payment assurance guarantee to ensure liquidity stability in the sector so that generating companies are paid for their services.