The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) Plc management has absolved itself of allegations of short-changing its customers, especially those on estimated billing.
In recent times and following the introduction of prepaid meters, there have been widespread allegations by those yet to receive the meters, that electricity Distribution Companies (Discos) are skewing the estimated billing methodology to defraud customers yet to have meters.
But spokesman for AEDC, Ahmed Shekarau, denied it, while responding to questions from The Guardian on the allegations. He noted that although the AEDC is compelled to bill some of its customers through estimation because majority of them had no meters at takeover in November 2013, the estimated billing is done through a methodology designed and approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
He said: “Since takeover, we have not billed them beyond 80 per cent of the electricity supplied to us by the Market Operator. For instance, from January to December 2015, we received 3578Gwh of electricity but the energy billed within the same period is 2865Gwh, thereby showing a billing efficiency of 80 per cent.
“In 2016, AEDC received 3229Gwh of energy and only billed for 2511Gwh, thus showing a billing efficiency of 78 per cent. Also, from January to April this year, we received 1095Gwh and billed for 846.7Gwh, thereby showing 77 percent billing efficiency.”
Shekarau noted that going by these statistics, majority of the customers are under-billed, explaining that it is not impossible to find that periodically some customers are overbilled because estimated billing is not an exact science, and thus not perfect.
“The methodology is based on broad assumptions that are applied on a cluster of customers, and although they may be accurate for most customers, there is possibility of some margins of error which could result in under-billing or over billing.