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Why are there still power outages during the pandemic?

With less industrial and commercial activities, residential customers should enjoy more electricity, or shouldn’t they? Why are there still power outages during the pandemic?



Nigeria’s state-wide lockdown imposed by the Federal Government due to pandemic for Lagos, Ogun, and Abuja has been widely adopted in other regions within the country. The implication of this lockdown, as observed in the reduced commercial and industrial activities, has affected the energy sector.

Indeed, there has been a sharp change in consumption patterns. As industrial and commercial activities have reduced, consumption demand has rapidly shifted towards residential areas.

The decline in industrial/commercial loads should amongst other things imply more utilizable power for residential customers. However, power outages are still being reported in residential areas in these regions.

Our sources at some of the distribution companies (DISCOs) report that before the pandemic, about 60% and more of the DISCO’s grid energy was allocated to industrial and commercial customers. Now, although the full data is yet to be collated, indications show that only about 60% to 70% of the grid energy is currently allocated to residential customers. How come that only a fraction of ‘unused industrial power’ is delivered to residential areas?

This leaves some questions unanswered for the average Nigerian;

1. With less industrial and commercial activities, residential customers should enjoy more electricity, or shouldn’t they? Why are there still power outages during the pandemic?

2. What factors affects/limits the delivery of available grid energy to residential customers?

3. What are the implications of the sudden change in consumption pattern for all stakeholders (GENCOs, utility companies, residential customers, etc)?

You can share your thought with us on these questions and, your experience with the energy situation around your area since the lockdown began.



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