The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has ordered power distribution companies not to disconnect the electricity supply to any premises where a life-support machine is in use.
NERC gave the order in its latest Customer Protection Regulations 2023, with regulation number: NERC-R-001-2023, obtained in Abuja on Monday.
"A distribution company shall not disconnect electricity supply to any premises where, it is aware, that a life-support machine is in use.
“Customers that have life-support machines installed at the premises shall enter into an acceptable arrangement with the distribution company for the settlement of their bills and the distribution company may seek to recover any debt due from these customers by other legal means", the directive reads in part.
The power sector regulator stated that customers that were disconnected in contravention of these regulations shall be compensated by the distribution company.
“Customers shall be compensated with energy credits, that are equivalent to their average daily consumption computed on the basis of their consumption or bills for the last three months, for each day the wrongful disconnection lasts.
“A distribution company shall reconnect electricity supply to a customer’s premises within the period stipulated in these regulations in the following circumstances.
"Where a customer disconnected for non-payment of electricity bill pays all the distribution company’s charges as approved by the commission or the customer enters into a mutually acceptable payment arrangement with the distribution company,” the regulator stated.
It also stated that the Disco shall reconnect a power user where the customer disconnected for unauthorised access to the distribution network regularises the electricity supply arrangements to his premises to the satisfaction of the Disco and pays all charges assessed by the Disco for the unauthorised access.
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