Mastering Your Electricity Bills in Nigeria: A Guide to Smarter Consumption – Ah, the age-old conflict of the electricity bill. From urban landscapes to rural corners, Nigeria is no stranger to the disputes arising between consumers and electricity suppliers. With the nation grappling with inconsistent electricity supply, and costs only rising, managing these bills has become quite the task.
Turning Away from Traditional Power
Interestingly, even government bodies are exploring alternatives. It has been reported that the Ministries of Construction and Housing and Environment are making a switch. Instead of relying on the grid, they’re now turning to a 1.5-megawatt solar mini-grid system. Spearheaded by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, this move is aimed at mitigating the crippling effects of exorbitant electricity bills.
The Metered vs. Unmetered Debate
January brought with it a surprise for metered consumers as electricity distribution companies discreetly increased tariffs. Uket Obonga, the National Secretary of Nigeria Electricity Consumer Advocacy Network, confirmed the move, citing alignment with the MYTO. Prepaid meters have emerged as a beacon of hope. Abuja Electricity Distribution Company’s General Manager of Corporate Communications, Oyebode Fadipe, emphasized that all consumers must be billed, either through meters or estimation.
Energy Theft – A Hidden Culprit
One of the underlying challenges is energy theft. According to Mr. Olusesan Okunade of Adroit Metering Services Limited, consumers should collaborate with Discos to identify and report such culprits. He noted, “If your neighbour is not captured by the disco and you observe he is utilising supply without a meter… you are going to be paying for his or her consumption.”
Smart Choices for Smart Savings
While metering battles rage on, there are practical steps consumers can take. Energy-saving equipment is a game-changer. From power-efficient bulbs and inverters to low voltage air conditioners and fridges, these devices can substantially reduce electricity consumption.
Moreover, unplugging electronics when not in use can save a surprising amount. Even when turned off, electronics like TVs, DVDs, and computers still draw power. The Nigerian Electricity System Operator advises consumers to unplug these devices and chargers when they’re not in active use.
For those residing in larger properties or office spaces, consulting power management experts can be invaluable. They can conduct energy audits, providing insights into consumption patterns and areas for savings.
Peter Ewesor, Managing Director of Nigerian Electricity Management Services, also highlights the importance of an often-overlooked aspect: proper electricity earthing systems. He points out that many consumers waste electricity due to poor or non-existent earthing systems, leading to inaccurate meter readings.
In the complex landscape of Nigeria’s electricity woes, being proactive can make a world of difference. From adopting energy-efficient devices to understanding the nuances of metering, consumers can equip themselves to navigate this challenging terrain more effectively.