In a deft move designed to address the major need of electricity consumers in the South East states, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has embarked on a massive metering of its customers. To achieve this milestone, the Enugu Electricity company is deploying about 200, 000 to its customers, which ultimately will boost the growth of Nigerian Metering market. To achieve this feat, the EEDC has awarded contracts to three leading metering companies, Mojec International Limited, MBH Power and Genus Power Infrastructure Limited. Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, Mr. Robert Dickerman, who disclosed this said that the programme was a continuation of EEDC's ongoing metering of its Maximum Demand (MD) customers, and the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI).
He maintained that the programme was designed to enable willing customers within the network obtain their meters by advancing funds to EEDC to purchase and install the meters for them. According to Dickerman, "We have identified metering as a major need of our customers, and providing them with meter is our primary obligation as an organisation. We are hopeful that with the deployment of these meters, our collection and energy losses will be reduced drastically.” Metering customers had been a major challenge facing most distribution companies, and the peculiarity of high prevalence of energy theft and meter bypass in the South East region has not also helped the situation. Over 70 per cent of the prepaid meters on the network are bypassed.
The EEDC boss also said that the company has therefore deployed Geographical Information System (GIS) to map the network areas, and equally embarked on elaborate enumeration of its customers within the network with a view to providing a sustainable and comprehensive all smart metering framework that will address and forestall the high prevalence of meter bypass and energy theft being experienced in the region. He continued, "Metering our customers has always been our priority, but due to the high level of energy theft and meter bypass, which constitute the huge revenue loss, we had to fine-tune and perfect our metering processes". EEDC also promises to sustain this multibillion metering programme on incremental basis, as that is the only way the current metering gap can be closed up. Customers are therefore advised to protect EEDC installations, avoid tampering with these meters and pay their electricity bills promptly.