Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) says it will distribute pre-paid meters, free of charge, to all its customers in Nsukka, starting from first quarter of 2021.
Mr Abuchi Mekowulu, Network Manager of EEDC Nsukka District, said this in Nsukka on Friday, while addressing some residents protesting against high monthly estimated bills.
Mekowulu said that EEDC, in collaboration with the Federal Government, would make it possible for all customers to get pre-paid meters in 2021, starting from the first quarter of the year.
“EEDC is optimistic that before the end of 2021, all customers will get the pre-paid meters for free.
“With pre-paid meters, the complaints over high monthly estimated bills will be over,” he said.
The network manager, however, said that the increase in monthly bills was as a result of nearly 24-hour electricity supply by EEDC to Nsukka and its environs in the past five months.
“I am happy you have acknowledged that you now enjoy electricity supply between 18 and 20 hours daily,” he said.
Mr Titus Onyishi, spokesman for the protesters, said that they were in the EEDC Office to complain over the outrageous estimated bills given to residents every month.
“Three months ago, EEDC gave us a monthly bill of N5,000 and we paid because there was improvement in power supply.
“But surprisingly last month, some were given N25,000, N20,000, N15,000 as monthly estimated bills.
“We are here to see how to resolve this issue with EEDC,” he said.
Mr Cosmas Ugwueze, the Chairman of Nsukka Local Government Council, who rushed down to the EEDC’s office to ensure that the protest did not turn violent, applauded the protesters for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner,
He however, appealed to the EEDC to keep to its promise of supplying free pre-paid meters to its customers in Nsukka, come the first quarter of 2021.
Meanwhile, Mr Emeka Ezeh, Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC South East, explained that increase in bills was as a result of implementation of the revised Service Reflective Tariff (SRT) since Nov. 1, 2020, as approved by the Federal Government.
“The group that came on protest today are on Band A and they are being served by our “Township Feeder”, with a daily minimum guaranteed availability of 20 hours supply,” he said.
Eze advised customers to always use energy-saving bulbs, instead of filament bulbs, while switching off electrical appliances and bulbs when they were not in use so as to conserve energy and reduce consumption.
“We are working at improving the service quality for our customers. We expect them to reciprocate this effort by paying their bills, as that is the only way we can sustain the system.
“EEDC appreciates the peaceful way the customers conducted themselves,” he said.
Eze, nonetheless, advised electricity consumers in the neighbourhood to use the available customer complaint channels of EEDC to lodge their complaints, assuring them that they would be looked into.