March 2, 2024

DisCos metering scorecard: Ibadan, Enugu, Port-Harcourt DisCos lead with highest number of unmetered customers as of June, 2023 

energyday

Oredola Adeola

 

Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) has emerged as the Distribution Company (DisCo) with the highest number of unmetered customers in Nigeria, with 1,329,289, followed by Enugu DisCo and Port Harcourt DisCo with 807,890 and 710,121 unmetered customers respectively, while Eko Electricity has 290,509, being DisCo with the lowest unmetered end-users as of June 2023.

 

Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) made this known in its second quarter (Q2) 2023 report, obtained by EnergyDay.

 

A breakdown of the unmetered customers in the period under review showed that Kaduna has 653,432, Kano DisCo- 649,311, Benin DisCo- 643,916, Abuja- 544,403, Jos – 480,924, Yola -407,433 and Ikeja- 357,228, translating to the actual figure of end-users subjected to estimated billings.

 

The NERC report therefore showed that as of June 30, 2023, there were 12,561,049 registered electricity customers with 44.16% (5,546,483) of them metered.

 

It stated that throughout 2023/Q2, a total of 178,864 end-user customers were metered by the DisCos, representing an increase of 3,583 installations (+2.04%) compared to the 175,281 meters installed in 2023/Q1.

 

NERC revealed that as of the second quarter of 2023 only 44.16% out of a total of 12,561,049 registered electricity customers in Nigeria were metered. This means that about 7,014,566 customers are still subjected to estimated billings.

 

However, Ikeja DisCo, with a total of 1,206,641 customers, has the highest percentage of metered customers at 70.39%, while Abuja and Eko followed closely with 59.78% and 59.02% of their customers metered, respectively.

 

On the other hand, some DisCos are lagging behind in metering their customers, with Yola having the lowest percentage of metered customers at 21.79%.

 

A breakdown of the percentage of users metered by other DisCos includes Benin – 49.30%, Ibadan- 42.44%, Enugu- 42.13%, Port Harcourt- 39.78%, Jos – 32.90%, Aba- 25.18%, Kano- 24.24%, and Kaduna -23.56%.

 

METER INSTALLATIONS UNDER 5 METERING FINANCING FRAMEWORKS

 

EnergyDay’s analysis of the categories of meter financing frameworks under which the prepaid meters were delivered to customers in 2023/Q2, showed that about 168,397 meters were installed under the MAP framework, while 9,302 meters were installed under the National Mass Metering Programme(NMMP) framework.

 

The Vendor and DisCo meter financed framework recorded 1,143- and 22-meter installations respectively.

 

It was further established that out of the 178,864 end-use customers metered in 2023/Q2, 94.15% customers were metered under the MAP framework, 5.20% were metered under the NMMP framework, 0.64% under the Vendor Financed, and 0.01% under the DisCo Financed framework.

 

The analysis therefore revealed that under the MAP framework, a total of 168,397 meters were installed in 2023/Q2 representing a 5.92% increase compared to the 158,992 MAP meter installations recorded in 2023/Q1.

 

Similar to 2023/Q1, Ikeja DisCo recorded the highest number of installations (47,080) representing 27.96% of the total number of customers metered under the MAP framework during the quarter.

 

Yola DisCo did not record any installation under the MAP framework in 2023/Q2. In 2023/Q2, a total of 9,302 customers were metered under the NMMP framework, representing a decrease of -32.00% from 13,679 customers metered in 2023/Q1.

 

NERC noted that Abuja, Ibadan, Ikeja, and Port Harcourt DisCos have exhausted their meter allocations under the NMMP phase 0.

 

Under the Vendor financed framework in 2023/Q2, the report showed that a total of 1,143 customers were metered.

 

Similar to 2023/Q1, Abuja (607) and Benin (536) were the only DisCos that recorded meter installations under this framework in 2023/Q2. This corresponds to a -22.28% and -70.19% decline respectively compared to the 781 and 1,798 installations from the DisCos in 2023/Q1.

 

Since January 2023, only Kaduna DisCo metered customers under the DisCo financed framework (31 in 2023/Q1 and 22 in 2023/Q2).

 

The report further disclosed that there was no change in the number of meter installations under the NMMP by Benin, Enugu, and Kano DisCos.

 

As of 2023/Q2, a total of 1,884 meters are yet to be installed by Eko Disco, while Ibadan 7, Jos – 185, Kaduna – 29, and Yola -2,272.

 

It stated that the DisCos reported a decrease in customer metering under the NMMP in 2023/Q2 compared to 2023/Q1.

 

EnergyDay further gathered that the decreases recorded by the DisCos were due to the winding down of NMMP Phase 0.

 

METER INSTALLATIONS IN 2023/Q2

Further analysis showed that Ikeja, Ibadan, Abuja, and Enugu DisCos had the highest number of meter installations in 2023/Q2 accounting for 72.69% of total installations.

 

Relative to 2023/Q1, eight (8) DisCos recorded improvements in the number of meter installations with Benin (+28.40%), Kano (+25.99%), and Eko (+15.85%) recording the greatest improvements.

 

Conversely, Yola (-24.55%), Kaduna (-6.27%), and Enugu (-2.83%) recorded a decline in the number of meters installed compared to 2023/Q1.

 

IMPRESSIVE COLLECTION EFFICIENCY DUE TO METERING

The NERC therefore noted that the DisCos have in the second quarter of 2023(Q2,2023) failed to achieve the efficient loss targets allowed in their tariffs due and failed to collect the revenues that are required to finance the sustainable long-term operations of the business while also providing reasonable returns for investors.

 

NERC however emphasised that as of June 2023, the total revenue collected by all DisCos was ₦267.86 billion out of ₦354.61 billion billed to customers, translating to a collection efficiency of 75.54% which represents an increase of 6.79pp when compared to 2023/Q1.
(68.75%).

 

The Commission therefore attributed the increase in collection efficiency to the increased metering by DisCos and the implementation of various collection campaigns for improved remittance by post-paid customers.

 

ANALYSTS REACT

Mr. Martins Arogie, Chairman, Power Sector Group, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, in the chat with EnergyDay based on the scorecard of the DisCos on metering revealed that the challenges of prepaid metering by the DisCos are multifaceted.

 

According to him, the DisCos are reluctant to invest in prepaid meters because it does not guarantee a reduction in energy theft and thus increased revenue.

 

Arogie said, “Customers are reluctant to invest in it because the assets do not belong to them but to the DisCos.

 

“There are also quite a few customers who prefer to use power under the radar as there is very little incentive for energy theft.

 

The LCCI Power Sector Group, Chairman emphasised that the Nigerian Government and the DisCos would need to come up with innovative funding models that will address the bottleneck within the metering framework.

 

He said, “The erstwhile Meter Assets Providers (MAP) scheme can be tweaked to address the issues observed to make it more workable- whilst ensuring that there is strict punishment for energy theft in order to address this issue.”

 

Mr. Adetayo Adegbemle, Executive Director, PowerUp Nigeria, also in a conversation with EnergyDay on the subject matter stated that closing the metering gap remains the lowest hanging fruit in the power sector.

He said, “And it’s sad that every approach has not worked quite well. It would have been great if the NMMP Phase 1 which promised over 4 million meters could be funded somehow.

 

“The World Bank TCN-PMU Procurement for 1.2 million meters has been allowed to proceed, let’s hope it also meets the minimum standard,” Adegbemle observed.