The tariff paid to energy distribution companies by over 2 million registered energy customers in the fourth quarter of last year increased by N41bn, according to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.

In its quarterly report for the 4th quarter of 2022, the commission said total revenue collected by all Discos in 2022/Q4 was about N244bn out of N332bn billed to customers, translating to a collection efficiency of about 73 per cent compared to 72 per cent in 2022/Q3.

Relative to 2022/Q3, the total billing was up N41bn (about 14 per cent) to N332bn and total collections increased by N33bn (about 16 per cent) to N244bn.

According to NERC, the utility firms were able to rake in extra revenue as a result of billing efficiency increasing to 76 per cent in 2022/Q4 compared to 75.6 per cent recorded in the prior quarter.

The total energy received by all Discos during the period under review was 7,661.97GWh while the energy billed to end-use customers was 5,835.62GWh.

Electricity tariffs are usually reviewed every six months. It would be recalled that the last half-year tariff review was carried out in December.

There have been speculations of another tariff review in July, which would push tariffs up by 40 per cent. However, the Assistant Manager of Public Affairs, NERC, Mary Anavhe, told The PUNCH that no agreement had been reached for another review.

“There has not been any decision yet. We will get back when a decision is reached,” she told The PUNCH in an SMS message.

During the quarter under review, the Aggregate Technical, Commercial and Collection loss also dropped by 1.24 per cent to 44.15 per cent compared to 45.39 per cent 2022/Q3. A breakdown showed that technical and commercial loss was 23.84 per cent and collection loss stood at 26.67 per cent.

The ATC&C Loss provides a comparative report of how much revenue a Disco is able to collect relative to how much it should have collected based on the volume of energy it received and sold to customers. In recognition of the fact that not all revenue can be collected, the tariff methodology makes an allowance for ATC&C–efficient losses.

NERC disclosed that no Disco met the efficient loss reduction targets specified in the approved tariff order in 2022/Q4. This means that all Discos under-recovered their required revenues during the period. The Discos with the highest differential did not recover sufficient revenues to meet their upstream market obligations, according to the report.

“Discos have an imperative to employ technologies and operational procedures that will increase both billing and collection performances so as to forestall long-term financial challenges. These could include holistic energy accounting procedures, customer and infrastructure metering, among others,” NERC stated.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *