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Posted by on Tuesday September 1, 2015 at 16:7:11:

Based on my personal experience, my family uses about 250KWH and we live in a developed area in Lagos Nigeria. That costs about N5,000 per month based on a tariff of N14.96 per KWH and includes a fixed monthly charge of N750. The exchange rate as at this time is N200 for $1.

One of the basic things which every Nigerian family living in the city now has is electricity. It's an utility provided by the Power Holding company of Nigeria(a.k.a NEPA). With electricity, Nigerian families can power a lot of electronic devices in their home such as light bulbs, televisions, computers, pressing irons and nowadays even washing machines. Modern day Nigerians are becoming more reliant on electricity than was the case in the past. Electricity helps people to stay entertained, cool their homes and even wash their clothes.

The big problem however in Nigeria as at the year 2015 is that electricity generation is still less than 10% of the estimated needs of our country. A few years ago, a Power Minister estimated that Nigerian homes need at least 200,000 Mega Watts of power but electricity generation was still less than 5000 Mega Watts. So, the little electricity that is generated from turbines and big generators are normally rationed out to Nigerian homes for less than 10 straight hrs a day.

A new thing that is happening in today's Nigeria is that prepaid electricity meters are now being gradually deployed by the Power company unlike what was the case in the past when electricity meters were used for post paid customers and bills were normally estimated. In the past, electricity bills were mostly estimated and charged to customers by a corrupt and inefficient Public power company(NEPA) which did more good than harm to Nigeria's power generation goals. The monthly bills were gradually rising to cases when people who used to pay just N2000 per month now pay N20,000 per month despite their less than 4 hrs a day service. It was only when successive civilian and democratic govts came in to power and decided to gradually privatize the power sector did some improvement start to show and power generation peaked.

In order to ensure that Nigerians were not cheated with the electricity billing system, the new power company decided to introduce prepaid meters which allowed people to pay only for electricity that they use rather than paying blindly for an inefficient service. The new prepaid meter has brought down bills for many people in a more transparent and justified manner such that people now pay less when electricity supply is low and paid higher when it increases. In a way, it has gradually helped the private owners now see some profit and also place a check on customers who were not used to paying bills on time.

With the new prepaid meter billing system, a customer just needs to buy meter tokens or PINs which hare a set of numbers and enter them into his meter before being credited and having access to electricity.

The electricity which a Nigerian home uses would depend on how much electronic devices they have connected to electricity and for how many hours they have used it. With a prepaid meter, it's easy to just check for one's monthly electricity consumption by reading the start and stop values of the KWH displayed on the meter at the beginning and end for the month as long as it doesn't get used up and there were no additional tokens loaded within that period.

I just checked mine and noticed that N10,000 could last my family for up to 2 months given that a month has passed and we've only used up to 250 units worth around N5000.

There is also a fixed monthly charge of about N750 deducted as part of one's monthly bill in Nigeria even for those using prepaid meters and many customers have cried to the government to scrap that fixed charge since it amounts to extortion. Without a fixed monthly charge, Nigerians would spend less on electricity than they currently do.

Electricity supply in Nigeria is not yet available for up to 24 hrs basis since the service is rationed because demand exceeds supply. On the average, customers are lucky to get up to 6 hrs of electricity per day and businesses have to make up for it with electric power generators. Monthly usage and bills may increase in the future as more electricity is generated to meet the growing needs of Nigerians all over the nation.

If you live in Nigeria, how much KWH of electricity do you use per month?

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