Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), on Wednesday began installation of 222,728 meters in its coverage areas of FCT, Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger and Kogi.

AEDC had in the first phase of its mass metering project in 2016, installed no fewer than 150,000 meters for its customers across its coverage area.

The installation of 222,728 meters, which began at CITEC Estate in the FCT, is the second phase of the mass metering project of the company.

The Chairman of AEDC, Mr Shehu Malami said the metering of customers had become topical and a recurring issue in the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).

He said the Federal Government had initially taken bold steps to resolve the issue through the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI).

According to him, government has also recently introduced the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme to resolve issues of metering in the sector.

Malami said that the various intervention schemes on metering became necessary as it was responsible for the huge ATC and C losses that the DisCos presently suffer.

He said metering was also the source of frequent disagreement between DisCos and their customers.

Malami said a successfully executed metering programme would enhance both transparency in the bill of customers and energy accountability.

He said the commitment of N10 billion for the provision of 222,728 units of meters by AEDC was a bold move by the company.

According to him, provision of the meters has clearly debunked claims that DisCos were benefiting from estimated billing.

“This project will last for five months after which all metering programmes will come under the Meter Asset Provider Policy that has been put in place by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

He urged customers not to bypass the meters, as it was affecting the revenue recovery of the DisCos.

“I, therefore, urge our customers to be patient as they all will be provided meters ultimately,’’ he said.

The Managing Director of AEDC, Mr Ernest Mupwaya, said that there had been cyclical argument between customers and the DisCos on investment, especially metering.

He said AEDC has defiled all odds to invest heavily on metering, adding that metering would address the issue of estimated billing and confirm to the customers that AEDC was not benefiting from it.

The official said metering would also address the challenge of high losses from areas where there are no meters.

“Commission studies have shown that we incur more losses in areas where there are no meters.

“Our loss level in those areas is up to 70 per cent, the project will also hopefully address the challenge of resistance to payment and energy accounting.’’

He said the installation of the meters would engender trust in billing as customers were always unwilling to pay when supply was low.

“This project is therefore a win –win situation for both customers and AEDC,’’ Mupwaya said.

He said AEDC was confident that customers who were not accommodated in the second phase would be taken care of by the Meter Asset Provider Policy.

Mupwaya called on security agencies, the judiciary, and the general public to play their roles to ensure that the main risk to the project, energy theft was curtailed.

He revealed that AEDC had also begun the metering of 6,000 distribution transformers.

According to him, the deployment of the distribution transformers will allow the DisCo to effectively carry out energy balancing on each transformers.

He said the transformer would help generate business intelligence on illegal usage, transformer over loading and accurate generation of estimated billing.

The Minster of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) commended AEDC for deploying the meters.

Fashola, represented by Mrs Briskilla Sapke, the Director, Power, also urged customers not to engage in bypassing of the meters.