SACLEPEA, Nimba – The Jungle Energy Power, Inc., the company charged with the responsibility to manage electricity in parts of Nimba, has begun a campaign to educate its customers in Saclepea on reading their electricity meters.
Speaking to reporters over the weekend in Saclepea, the finance and marketing officer of Jungle Energy Power, Alieu Keita, said the exercise aims to get customers knowledgeable about how their bills are calculated for payments.
“When my staff goes around like I did today,” he said, “I call you [the Customer], we looked at the meter together and I teach you how to calculate the meter.
Keita said he and his staff were going around town explaining to customers that the figure on the meter is the amount of electricity they have consumed in kilowatt-hour.
“That number on the meter is what you multiply by 0.25 to know the total money you are to pay for bill,” he said. “And that money is what you will find 10 percent of to pay for government.”
The electricity tariffs that customers in Nimba pay is 36 percent lower than the US$0.39 per kilowatt-hour that residents of Monrovia pay. The electricity in Nimba is supplied by electricity coming from Ivory Coast as part of the West Africa Power Pool Project.
Over time, customers have not been completely satisfied with bills presented to them. Some have returned to using their privately-run generators because they feel cheated.
Keita said the exercise would help resolve confusion between Jungle Energy’s workers and customers whenever staffers went on the field to read meters. He invited customers to reach out for clarification if they needed to better understand how to calculate their bills.
“Our door is opened to everyone who wants to learn,” he said. “So, when our guys go in the field, you can ask them question about what they are writing on the paper.”
Jungle Energy’s management and the Liberian Electricity Corporation recently announced a joint effort to disconnect delinquent customers who have not made arrangements to pay bills they acquired over the past two years.
Unlike in Monrovia where there is a prepaid system, customers in Nimba and other locations connected to the West Africa Power Pool are expected to be presented their bills at the end of the month. Occasionally, the Jungle Energy has been slow to deliver bills to customers. For example, since customers last received bills in February 2017, there has not been another delivery of bills.
Featured photo by Arrington Ballah