Prepaid electricity meter was introduced in Nigeria as a remedial approach to alleviating the harsh condition consumers of electricity go through in the hands of energy generation and transmission companies popularly known as power holding companies of Nigeria. Prepaid electricity came to be in Nigeria in the year 2006 after the level of the unnecessary and outrageous bill on electricity consumers by the power holders. This is the real reason why the introduction of prepaid electricity meters is the best thing that happened to Nigerians in the last decade.
WHAT IS A PREPAID ELECTRICITY METER?
Prepaid electricity meter as the name goes can simply be defined as the art and science of paying for your electricity consumption before usage. Pre- means before, meaning payment before services. Therefore, the prepaid meter is simply a customized electricity meter reader for electricity consumers of a particular geographical location managed by a power holding company in charge of electricity generation and transmission to ensure that consumers pay up before supplies at a regulated amount or unit price.
Yes, a prepaid electricity meter allows electricity consumers to use electricity to the value of the amount or unit recharged and allows consumers to pay upfront for their electricity consumption.
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A BRIEF HISTORY OF PREPAID ELECTRICITY METERS IN NIGERIA
The history of Prepaid electricity meter was first introduced into the Nigerian market in 2006 by the power holding company of Nigeria formerly known as Nigerian electricity power authority [NEPA]. NEPA was changed to PHCN after her privatization. It was further disintegrated and sublet into various regional distribution companies for distributions and marketing supervised by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission [NERC] to ensure the proper regulation of prices into uniform prices and operations and delivery of the product.
Since the introduction of the prepaid electricity meter in Nigeria, it has been of great help for those who were lucky enough to have it installed in their homes
AMAZING BEAUTY OF USING THE PREPAID ELECTRICITY METER
- A prepaid electricity meter is the only solution for excessive electricity bills payment.
- By using a prepaid electricity meter, you got to pay for your electricity upfront
- By using the prepaid electricity meter, there is a very great improvement in the revenue generation of the distribution and marketing companies thereby improving and expanding distribution, supplies, and networks of electricity to households, and all service users.
- Another beautiful benefit of using the prepaid electricity meter is that both the distribution companies and consumers become aware of the cost of electricity thereby drastically cutting down electricity consumption by keeping non-essential appliances from electricity when not in use.
- The prepaid electricity meter is not just a short-term solution, it is the most fundamental historic change ever in the business of electricity distribution in Nigeria.
- Prepaid electricity meter customers enjoy the best and greatest convenience made possible through the embrace of new technology.
- The prepaid meter enables users to purchase electricity directly from their bank via their mobile phone or the internet thereby making it convenient for electricity customer stores to enjoy the comfort of paying bills without stress.
- With a prepaid electricity meter, electricity customers are saved from the embarrassment of both legal and illegal disconnections from the electricity distribution companies and their agents.
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HOW THE PREPAID ELECTRICITY METER WORKS
- After a successful application and purchase of the prepaid meter, it should be installed electricity users compound.
- The installation should be done by the distribution and marking company’s trained staff on installation.
- Purchase four tokens either from your bank account via your cell phone or from the nearest electricity voucher company or even from the distribution or marketing company’s office nearest to you.
- After your prepaid electricity meter is installed in your compound, a portable recharging machine will be handed over to you as part of the installation together with your prepaid meter unique number customized with your landlord’s name and the compound address.
- Activate your prepaid electricity meter by entering into the machine your unique number and pressing the “enter key” on the machine.
- Load your already purchased token which will either be sent to your cell phone or a printout from the purchase point. load it into the machine just the same way you recharge your cell phone.
- You are immediately supplied with electricity your recharge is confirmed successfully through the recharge machine.
- You are awarded some electricity credit unit based on the amount you recharged.
- Always check your credit union to be able to determine when next to recharge since your credit will continue to depreciate as you often as you use the electricity which is subject to the load in your apartment [electrical appliances used in your home.
- Purchase another token whenever you discover that your credit unit is low to avoid running out of power shortage.
WHAT IS PREPAID ELECTRICITY METER UNIQUE NUMBER
The prepaid electricity unique identification number is a unique customized user identification number specifically allocated to a prepaid meter bearing the customer’s name [Landlord], not the tenant’s name, and the address of the premises. Every prepaid meter has these unique identification features printed in the form of a plastic smart card.
This unique meter identity number is usually 11 digits pin. However, the length of the pin varies from the distribution company to distribution company. Some can be 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 10 respectively.
Your customer’s unique meter identity number can be located above or under the barcode that usually comes with the prepaid electricity meter.
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HOW TO CHECK YOUR PREPAID ELECTRICITY METER CREDIT BALANCE
- Ther is a special blue button [ it can also appear in different colors depending on the distribution company] on the prepaid meter machine. This button enables you to take or check your credit load or meter reading as it is commonly known before now in Nigeria.
- It is also true that the prepaid electricity meter machine has lots of features that enable users or customers to ascertain certain information regarding the services rendered via the prepaid electricity meter.
- It is true that the prepaid electricity meter machine comes in handy with an instructional manual on its operations and services available within the limits of the machine. Follow the instructional manual to solve all your problems when using the prepaid meter, other frequently asked questions.
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THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING THE PREPAID ELECTRICITY METER
Yes, it is a saying that anything that has an advantage must have a disadvantage likewise. However, the advantages of using prepaid meters far outweigh the disadvantages.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF USING THE PREPAID METER
- By using the prepaid electricity meter, you manage your energy consumption
- By using the prepaid meter, you can completely manage your electricity debt all by yourself.
- With the PREPAID ELECTRICITY METER, you are the boss of yourself when it comes to avoiding unnecessary embarrassments from anybody, either from the landlord, co-tenants, or electricity distribution company.
- By using the prepaid electricity meter, avoid large and unexpected bills from Power holding companies.
- With the prepaid meter, you are free from unnecessary disconnections, and visitation from electricity whoever.
- Technical faults/errors can arise sometimes due to network challenges
- Outrageous fast running of the recharged credit units.
- Unnecessary fluctuations in electricity prices.
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WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF PREPAID ELECTRICITY METER
Basically, there are two types of prepaid meters. They are:
- The key prepaid meters
- The smart card prepaid meters
THE KEY PREPAID ELECTRICITY METER
The key prepaid electricity meter is a special meter that functions with a special electronic key containing all your tariff details on it.
THE SMART CARD PREPAID METER
The smart card prepaid electricity meter supplies you with the latest information via your electricity distribution company anytime you top up.
Don’t forget that you can always recover your lost prepaid meter key or smart card in the case of loss or theft via your electricity distribution company or supplier. There is also a customer service contact to call for inquiries and complaints.
HOW TO REQUEST FOR PREPAID ELECTRICITY METER / 2 DIFFERENT METHODS
A lot of people have issues/challenges with applying for a prepaid meter. Some have also fallen into the hands of 419 [fraudsters] and have been defrauded seriously and severally. Some of these power-holding companies’ staff are so corrupt that they use this medium to defraud their prospective customers. There are two methods of applying for prepaid meters. they are:
- Hard copy application forms
- Online prepaid meter request form
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HOW TO APPLY FOR PREPAID ELECTRICITY METER AND GET YOUR METER WITH 14 WORKING DAYS
Follow the instructions below to apply for your prepaid meters:
- Log on to the electricity distribution company like the Enugu electricity distribution company [EEDC] website. Click here.
- Download the application form by clicking on the “Download Application Form” menu.
- Carefully fill out the form by providing the necessary information required
- Submit the completed form at your district office outlet near you.
- Follow up your application forms to ensure your prepaid meter is supplied on time
- To fill out the online prepaid electricity meter application form, log on to the company’s official website
- Click on the “Request for meter” menu for the form to appear
- Carefully follow the instructions to complete the online application form.
- Officers/staff from the inspection unit is sent to your compound to survey to ensure that you applied correctly and certify your application and possibly instruct you on what to do before installation
- You must make electrical separations for each meter depending on how many meters you applied for and according to the recommendation of the inspection officers from the distribution company, how many flats or rooms you want to meter.
- A demand notice is sent to you containing the account details of the company and the amount to be paid on a successful completion of the forms
- Proceed to the bank and pay up for your prepaid electricity meter.
- Submit the evidence of your meter payment to the customer care unit for onward forwarding of your payment details to the company headquaters for your meter configuration/customization and supply.
- Your prepaid electricity meter is supplied to the electricity distribution company’s district office for installation to successful customers.
- The company will call you when the meter is supplied at the electricity district office and arrange for installation.
- Lastly, installation officers will come to install your prepaid electricity meter when they are ready.
- Follow the recommended steps above on how to recharge your prepaid meter.
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The benefits of prepaid electricty meter are so amazing and overwhelming. Prepaid electricity meter means you dont have to get bills at the end of the month, No meter reading to dermine your energy consumption at the end of the month. With the prepaid electricity meter, you get a preferable electricity monthly budget by yourself, and for yourself. Prepaid meter eradicates billing inaccuracies, avoids non payment issues, you avoid disconnection and reconnection fees for failure to pay your electricity bills.
Most of all, prepaid electricty meter does not require you to pay a deposit reqiured. you are in charge of your account and determines your electrical usage. No landlord or co-tenant problems.