If you are looking to replace your prepaid electricity meters, get ready to cough out an extra N15,000 to buy the 3-phase type from your local power distributor.

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has quietly approved that 3-phase meters be given to consumers at N82,855.19, up from the N67,055 that it was hitherto acquired.

The cost for single-phase meter has also been jacked up from N36,991 to N44,896.16.

The (Lagos) Guardian, quoted a memo from NERC Chair, James Momoh, which says that the increased was caused by fluctuation in foreign exchange.

“In arriving at the approved unit costs, the commission has considered the recent changes in foreign exchange approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the applicable rate available to importers of meter component or fully assembled meters through investors and exporters’ forex window,” he said.

Since NERC looks the other way on matters of responsibility for acquisition of meters, consumers are made to pay for the meters which should ordinarily be the assets of power distribution companies.

Nigeria currently has 8.3 million registered and active consumers of public power supply but only a third of this number have been provided with meters.

In particular, NERC says there are of 8,310,408 registered active electricity customers and 3,704,302 that have prepaid meters, while the rest are billed with monthly rough estimates.