By Sam Oditah
Umuahia – The Enugu Electricty Distribution Company (EEDC) has embarked on load shedding in Umuahia and its environs, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
An authoritative source at the company’s head office in Umuahia told NAN on Friday that the measure became necessary because of a substantial drop in electricity generation.
“We are load shedding now in order to ensure that everybody gets power from the amount of energy allotted to us.
Mr Emeka Eze, the Head, Communications Department of EEDC, Enugu, confirmed the development in a telephone interview with NAN, saying that the measure became necessary because of low power generation.
“This is basically a systematic way of sharing and managing energy, to ensure it is fairly distributed to customers.
“The quantum of energy that is currently being generated in the country is not enough to feed all our customers at the same time.”
He said that the company was allotted only nine per cent of the total energy generated at the national level; “so, our option is to resort to load shedding’’.
“This is not peculiar to Umuahia but across the network in the South-East. It is also important to mention that this is not peculiar to EEDC; other discos also load shed.
“Load shedding happens at the Feeder level (when there is low generation and there is need to manage the availabe energy to ensure that it is fairly managed and distributed).
“It can also happen at the transformer level (when transformer is overloaded, to preserve the facility from packing up),” Eze said.
A senior management officer at the Umuahia office told NAN on condition of anonymity that the company had designed a schedule to guide electricity supply to consumers in different parts of the city at different times.
“After an area has been supplied light for about three to four hours, we switch on to another section.
“By so doing, the company makes sure that it services the entire town and its environs, day and night,” the source said.
The source also spoke about the complaints of pre-paid meter subscribers in Umuahia.
The source said that students at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, recently protested to the station over the frequency of recharging their pre-paid meters.
“They came here complaining that their bills were higher than what they paid before they acquired pre-paid meters.
“The said we should come and remove the pre-paid meters.
“When we billed them on estimation according to the approved methodology by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission, they complained.
“Now, we have introduced pre-paid meters, yet they are complaining. What do they want EEDC to do?” the source asked.
Meanwhile, some residents of the city have appealed to the company to make efforts to improve power supply in the area.
They also urged the management of EEDC to take the load shedding into account in their billing. (NAN)