BEDC plans to install 39,000 meters

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’Femi Asu

Benin Electricity Distribution Plc has said it will roll out 39,000 meters in the first half of the year in compliance with the directive of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to distribution companies on massive metering of customers.

The BEDC said in a statement that the initiative stemmed from the conclusion of the company’s first quarter customer forum across its coverage states of Edo, Delta, Ondo and Ekiti, with a pledge by the management to improve service delivery.

He said the meters would be given to customers across the BEDC franchise areas, with a view to ensuring that power generated and distributed to customers was utilised in a most efficient manner and to avert illegal consumption of electricity.

The Head of Metering, BEDC, Mr. Meshaic Okhumeode, said the meter installation would be preceded by enumeration of customers on feeders servicing the earmarked locations to reduce power theft through bypass and illegal connections.

He said the meters would be mounted on poles as against the practice of putting them on residential premises, adding that this would engender collective monitoring by residents within a neighbourhood and the service provider.

He also affirmed the BEDC’s readiness to ensure total metering of its customers within the next five years, urging customers to be patient as the metering would be done in batches.

The Head of Key Clients Services Group, Mr. Abel Enechaizam, said the forum was designed to discuss with customers on ways to serve them better, adding that issues affecting operations and services and the customers’ expectations were being resolved.

Enechaizam told customers that there were five major stakeholders in power sector business, namely: gas suppliers, generation companies, transmission, distribution companies and consumers.

He explained that on the part of the BEDC, some critical issues such as non-payment of bills, low power generation, high energy theft, illegal connections and funding constraints occasioned by capital expenditure limit were affecting its ability to give customers the expected service delivery.

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