In this post, we are going to be showing you the complete step by step process of getting a prepaid meter in Nigeria. You will know the requirements, cost and what your rights are.
Unavailability of constant power supply is a long-standing problem in Nigeria. With the problem of over-hyped bills delivered to Nigerians by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) now divided into various Districts Electricity Distribution Company without appropriate computation of energy used by the consumers, and consumer meters most times producing wrong readings which affect their bills, many Nigerians have cried out for the introduction of prepaid meters as they feel it would solve these problems.
While using prepaid meters is much better than paying estimated electricity bills at the end of each month, it is not enough to bring an end to the problem surrounding electricity production and distribution in Nigeria. This article will provide a step by step instructions on how to get a prepaid meter in Nigeria, but before we dive into that, you might want to know more about prepaid meters and the advantages of using a prepaid meter.
What Are Prepaid Meters?
Prepaid meters are peculiar kind of meters which allows you to purchase the amount of electricity you want beforehand. This is usually carried out with the use of a token or a key card. The prepaid meters also known as tokenized smart meters are recharged by inputting a generated 20-digit token number into it and it provides the value of electricity paid for.
These kinds of meters are currently being adopted throughout the country and have proven to be much better than the previous, postpaid meters. The prepaid meters allow you to operate a pay-as-you-use plan.
What Are The Advantages Of Using Prepaid Meters?
BETTER ELECTRICITY BUDGET
Using postpaid electricity (get billed at the end of the month) does not allow you the luxury of knowing how much electricity you’ve used in a day, week or hour. A prepaid electricity meter shows your units together with how much power you’ve consumed.
This provides you a means to monitor how much electricity you are using and hence plan a budget every month. If you often receive electricity bills at the end of the month that are exceptionally high, then switching to prepaid electricity would help you to know your electricity usage and plan your budget efficiently.
NO BILLING INACCURACIES
Have you ever received an electricity bill (“crazy bill”) you had to question because you felt it was absurd? With a prepaid meter you are in control of precisely how much electricity you are paying for and how much you’re paying each month. You cannot be over-charged by the electricity company as you can only use what you have bought.
NO DISCONNECTION / RE-CONNECTION FEES
With postpaid electricity, it is common for your electricity to be disconnected for failure to pay on time. Re-connection of disconnected electricity attracts fines and penalty fees which may be cumbersome to pay. Using a prepaid meter means you never have to worry about disconnection and re-connection fees, as you are in control of when to recharge your electricity bill.
24 / 7 SERVICE
Unlike postpaid electricity, Prepaid electricity may be bought from vendors across Nigeria and can be accessed 24 hours a day. Electricity units can be purchased online using e-banking. Simply enter your prepaid electricity token and your electricity units will be added to your account, whatever time of the day or night, making it convenient.
NO FALSE METER READINGS
Postpaid meters require PHCN officials to read meters in order to allocate bills. These meter readings are sometime false and would ultimately affect your bill. With prepaid meters, false meter readings are not possible since meter readings are not needed.
IMPROVED POWER SUPPLY
Recent studies have shown that places where prepaid meters are predominant have improve power supply from distribution companies. Since you can only pay for what you use, for an electricity distribution company to make profit, it’s customers must purchase electricity units. This is not possible if there is poor power supply.
EASE OF OPERATION
Using a prepaid meter makes life easy as it doesn’t require expert knowledge to operate. You only need to purchase electricity units which is in form of a 20-digits token, load this token into the meter and that’s it.
How To Get Prepaid Meters
After the privatization of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), the electricity industry has been challenged with a huge task of metering customers by the eleven distribution companies it has all over the country. The Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) which is saddled with the task of Distributing electricity all over Nigeria have been making concerted efforts at clamping down the obvious metering gap which is yet to deliver a lasting solution as a large percentage of customers over the country are yet to be metered.
As a result, we will like to enlighten Nigerians on a step by step guide on how to procure prepaid meters at any location across the country under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) program which makes prepaid meters available at the cost of N36,991.5 for a Single-phase Meter and N67,055.85 for a Three-phase prepaid meter.
To obtain a prepaid meter you will need to follow these steps:
Step 1: Go to the Electricity distribution company nearest to you and obtain the form that would be issued to you by the Electricity Sales Representatives or Department (ERS) or the customer can visit the web portal of the distribution company in their zone.
Step 2: Fill the form with the appropriate and valid information required whether you are using the manual method (i.e, the form issued you by the ERS) or you are on the Application Guide Tab provided on the Web Portal.
Step 3: Submit the form to the representative. Information will be given to you on the time frame for which your prepaid meter would be installed.
Step 4: Customer’s location will be visited to perform site verification to establish the type of meter the customer needs
Step 5: Customer is sent a message via SMS or email to make payment with proper payment instructions
Step 6: Customer makes the required full payment
Step 7: Customer is metered within 10 working days after showing proof of payment.
These steps are simple and easy to follow in order to obtain a prepaid meter. If you may have further questions, you are advised to visit the web portal of your Electricity Distribution Company, or any branch closest to you.
What Is The Cost Of A Prepaid Meter?
There are 2 different types of prepaid meters offered under the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) program; the single-phase prepaid meters and the Three-phase prepaid meters.
The cost of the Single-phase Meter is N36,991.5 while that of the Three-phase prepaid meter is just N67,055.85 only.
Kindly share your experience on using prepaid meters with us in the comment box below. If you have any questions, you can also ask.