How Energy Is Stolen, Who Pays The Bill – BEDC

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Billing of electricity, power or energy consumers, whichever applies, is the sole responsibility of the distribution companies, (DISCOS) and for Delta, Edo Ondo and Ekiti states, it is the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).

The company achieves this through the metering system, which requires the deployment of either prepaid or credit meters to capture the amount of energy consumed in a given period of time, usually calculated in megawatts.

According to the Head of the Asaba region of BEDC, Mr. Henry Onovwaka, stealing of energy has become a common practice, leading to underpayment for the actual energy consumed and leaving unmetered customers with the burden of paying for the stolen energy.

Explaining how it works, Mr. Onovwaka said each of the feeders under his watch has its meter which records the total megawatts of energy consumed by every customer connected to the feeder in a given billing period.

The total consumption by metered customers is then subtracted from the bill recorded against a particular feeder, which he noted always falls short of the actual consumption due to sharp practices like by-passing of prepaid meters, using air conditioners, pumping machines, welding machines and other energy consuming appliances outside of the meter.

He said over 70% of metered customers in the Asaba region are involved in these unwholesome acts.

Explaining further, the Regional Head said whatever is left of the total bill after subtracting the captured value of consumption by metered customers is shared for unmetered customers on estimated billing to pay, accounting for the outrageous bills usually passed on to unmetered customers.

While stressing that every feeder’s bill must be completely distributed without adding a dime, Mr. Onovwaka said the Region had mapped out strategies to check energy theft and had imposed the stipulated fines on those caught in the act.

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