Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) Plc says it has introduced Service-Based Tariff (SBT), a system whereby customers enjoy certainty in a minimum of hours of power availability and pay appropriate rates for service rendered.
The new tariff regime is in line with the outcome of customers’ feedback from the tariff review held by Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission and DisCos at various locations across the country earlier this year.
Briefing newsmen on Friday in Benin on behalf of the Managing Director/Chief Executive Director, Abu Ejoor, Executive Director, Commercial, said the new SBT affects customers that enjoy electricity for at least average of 12hours per day, adding that those enjoying less than 12hours will continue to pay at old rates until end of the year.
According to Ejoor, under the new service dispensation, customers under BEDC franchise areas have been dis-aggregated into various clusters on hours of supply and using number of hours of daily availability as a measure to determine the tariff rate.
He disclosed that customers have been clustered/Banded into A to E, just as he said Band A will see customers enjoying minimum electricity supply of 20 hours; Band B: minimum electricity supply of 16 hours; Band C: minimum of 12 hours power supply; Bands D and C: minimum of 8 and 4 hours respectively, stressing that customers on lower Band can also move to upper bands.
“The new tariff regime also provides that customers can move to upper bands of more power availability as their quality of service improves, and accordingly pay the appropriate tariff,” Ejoor said.
While addressing the new changes, the distribution company promised to proved the needed funding require for investment in reinforcing feeders, transformers, protection equipment, and other component to bolster improved service .
His words, “The needed funding require for investment in reinforcing feedersA Service-Based Tariff whilst addressing the changes in macroeconomic indices-forex, inflation, cost etc, would also provide , transformers, protection equipment, and other components to bolster improved service defined in terms of hours of supply indicated by availability, reliability, and quality for improvement in electricity supply.”
He noted that the new SBT fits into the BEDC existing predictable load management system, adding that the company has also come up with additional modalities to reduce the frequency of power interruption in customers’ residences.
While lamenting that BEDC receives low generation of Nigeria grid, the Executive Director noted that this forced the distribution company to resort to load shedding in order to manage the power available to all its customers.
“BEDC receives 9% of generation of Nigerian grid i.e 360MW as against total requirements of 1,400MW. The challenge for BEDC remains to supply a system whose potential load is over 1,400MW with only 250 to 360MW. BEDC was forced to do massive load shedding to manage the very small power available to all its customers,” he said.
Mr. Ejoor assured customers of BEDC commitment to rapid improvement in service quality for those customers who currently receive low power service and subsequently graduate them to appropriate band upon service improvement.
He further disclosed that BEDC is collaborating with Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to provide technical improvement in areas where BEDC has interface challenges and constraints in order to ensure that locations with lower than 12 hours daily power availability witness rapid improvements within next year.