BEDC to eliminate estimated billing in six months
The Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), has renewed commitment to completely end estimated billing of its customers by metering unmetered customers in Delta, Edo, Ekiti, and Ondo states within six months.
Tayo Adekunle, BEDC Corporate Affairs Manager, revealed this in a communique issued at the end of a town hall meeting organised by the Stakeholders Democracy Network (SDN).
The meeting with the theme ‘Facilitating Metering and Combating Electricity Theft in BEDC States’ took place in Benin, Edo state.
Adekunle noted that BEDC has installed 25% of its metering target under the National Mass Metering Program (NMMP), and the installations, according to him, will help combat vandalism and energy theft.
“BEDC is now installing meters on the pole for customers in bands A, B, and C as the initial focus to curtail energy theft and meter bypass, while the company has also begun community metering where transformers of over 600 communities have been metered” he said.
The communiqué added that metering under NNMP was free and as such, customers do not have to pay. He warned that BEDC and industry stakeholders could sue and be sued on account of electricity theft and violation of consumers’ rights.
“The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) is carrying out electricity consumer education and interfacing between customers and Discos for complaints resolution,” the communiqué added.
It listed the challenges being confronted by BEDC during the NNMP installation process to include meter tampering, rejection of meters, aggressive and violent customer behaviour and extortion of some consumers by some unscrupulous agents for procurement and installation of meters.
The communiqué noted BEDC’s assurances to customers that corrupt members of staff would be punished, urging that when agents approach electricity customers for extortion, they should use the company’s whistle- blowing channels to report such actions and electricity theft to the appropriate quarters. The management of BEDC however assured stakeholders that it would promptly investigate allegations of customer extortion over meter installation and procurement.