The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), yesterday flagged-off its mass-metering exercise aimed at installing 500,000 meters in its catchment area.
The exercise which is billed to be completed in about three years would cost $160million.
Speaking with reporters after the commissioning of its free metering project in Abuja Investment Estate, Apo, the Managing Director, Mr. Ernest Muprauya, said the metering will take place simultaneously in all the AEDC areas of coverage.
He said: “We estimated that we will install 500,000 customers. And these meters are of various sizes; we have Three-Phase meter, Single face and Maximum Demand. The whole meters in the project together with other supporting ancillary services, will cost us in the region of $160million.”
He said the meters have a lot of advantages, as they put the power on the hand of the consumers to use electricity the way they can afford to pay .
“Secondly, they will be able to budget. It also will bring convenienc as they don’t need to come and queue. They can just access the vendor nearby or use their smart phones to access our website and buy. It has several advantages. Most importantly, it will bring transparency.
“Once you buy units, you know how many units you have bought and you are sure that you have not been shortchanged. It will improve our business.”
The AEDC, according to him, has started the enumeration of its consumers and the exercise would cost about $5million.
The company’s board chairman, Shehu Malami said customers were complaining about over-billing and demanded for meters that prompted the deployment.
He said it appeared that the customers were already used to free electricity as they were also not comfortable with metering. He however appealed to them to pay for what they consume.
Meanwhile, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Musa Bello recalled that the relationship between the ministry and the company was not cordial from inception until it presented a roadmap that culminated in the commissioning of mass metering yesterday.
He noted that vandalism of power installations is a major problem in the city and appealed to residents to protect the installations.
The minister also appealed to the AEDC to provide more power to the territory, which he said “I feel embarrassed how dark the city is at night. Out of frustration, many are considering off-grid solutions which is environmentally unfriendly. Your customers may look for alternative solution which may not be good for your company.”