PHCN Prepaid Meter| What Everybody ought to know about the system

PHCN Prepaid Metering, also known as an electricity meter, is a device built to measure the volume of electricity consumed at a particular point in time by a piece of electrically powered equipment.

The prepaid meter requires the user to purchase tokens and units before electricity usage. The electricity meter scan regularly to determine billing cycles and the amount of energy consumed throughout the phase. Prepaid meters are best suited for residences, business premises, or industrial complex

Impact of Metering System in Nigeria 

They are two types of metering systems present in the country:

  1. Postpaid meter
  2. Prepaid meter

Postpaid energy consumers in Nigeria have complained bitterly about power distribution companies (PHCN) giving out unfair billing policies, which result in excessive monthly power bills due to meter estimates instead of an actual meter reading. This method of accounting for insignificant losses causes immoral acts such as paying bribes to waive bills for users who bypass postpaid meters.

The unfair advantage has shifted its consumers significantly towards the prepaid metering system due to the fact a user only needs to purchase tokens and units before electricity usage.

Prepaid MeteringPostPaid Metering
Users are required to purchase tokens and units before electricity usage.Users are billed, and monthly payments are based on overall usage

Billing is based on accurate energy consumption Billing difficulties include meter reading errors resulting in payment irregularities, paying bribes, waving fees, etc

Payment takes precedence over serviceService takes precedence over overpayment

Smart card technology is equipped with the which makes billing accurate to the amount of energy used and easy to readRequires staff to manually interpret the meter readings and charges are billed on assumptions and guesses

Benefits of using a PHCN Prepaid Meter

The advantages of prepaid metering in Nigeria have reduced power theft and consumers’ unwillingness to pay their utility bills resulting in high customer satisfaction. Some of the key features are:

  1. Easier payment 
  2. Easy monitoring of consumption
  3. Availability and Flexibility
  4. Easy to manage
  5. Easier deployment 
  6. Good customer care service
  7. Communication with meters wirelessly through mobile phones

Disadvantages of using PHCN Prepaid Metering in Nigeria

  1. Low availability of expertise to repair faulty meters
  2. Distribution to end-users and companies is low
  3. Buying units except for Sundays and Holidays
  4. Bad networks could alter the purchase of units
  5. Additional cost when Acquiring Prepayment meters

Anomalies detected when using Prepaid Metering

This section includes those who use or interact with prepaid device meters abnormally either by tweaking or manipulating the device for their advantage

  1. Using electricity without Paying
  2. Tripping off the contactor (negative readings)
  3. low electricity supply doesn’t count on the meter


The introduction of the prepayment metering system in Nigeria is a good way of ensuring customer satisfaction as the country’s effectiveness to address all operational challenges that may arise in the economy

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