abba a ibrahim c eng migem mnse phd commissioner govt consumer affairs n.
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Consumer protection in a privatized power industry
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  1. Abba A. Ibrahim C.Eng, MIGEM,MNSE, PhD (Commissioner Govt & Consumer Affairs) Consumer protection in a privatized power industry

  2. Consumer Protection and Performance Standards Under The EPSR ACT 2005 • S 80 provides for the development of the following, inter alia, instruments for Customer Protection: • Customer Service Standards • Customer Complaints Handling Standards and Procedures • Codes of Practice to assist special needs customers (disabled, elderly or severely ill) • Procedures for assisting customers with difficulty in paying bills • Procedures for applying for electricity service • Procedures for disconnecting non-paying customers • Information to consumers and the manner of dissemination • Standards for compensation to consumers who do not enjoy regular power supply. • Standards on connection, safety, reliability of supply, technical codes and manuals.

  3. Additional Protection for Vulnerable Consumers in The EPSR Act 2005 • S 83 Provides for the Power Consumer Assistance Fund • Introduction of ‘lifeline tariff’ (e.g. for consumers below 50 kw/hr per month) • S 88 Provides for a Rural Electrification fund

  4. Customer Complaints Handling Standards and Procedures: Introduces a process for redressing complaints by electricity consumers. Connections & Disconnections Procedures For Electricity Services: Establishes standards and procedures for providing customers with electricity. Customer Service Standards of Performance For Distribution Companies: Standards expected from distribution companies in the provision of electricity supply to customers. Meter Reading, Billing, Cash Collection & Credit Management For Electricity Supplies: Stipulates procedures concerning accurate meter reading by distribution companies including payment plan. Methodology for Estimated Billing: Provide standardization of method used by DISCOs to estimate customer’s consumption under certain conditions NERC’S CUSTOMER PROTECTION REGULATIONS

  5. The electricity consumer in Nigeria has the following rights which are specific to the electricity consumer: • Right to safe & reliable electric service • Right to accurate electric meter; • Right to refund of over billings • Right to properly installed meter • Right to prompt investigation of complaints • Right to information; Scheduled power interruptions • Right to transparent billing • Right to Due process prior to Disconnection of electric service Consumer RIGHTS

  6. Right to a Notice prior to Disconnection • Right to prompt reconnection of electric Service upon payment • Right to file complaints before NERC CUSTOMER RIGHTS CONT’D

  7. Pay bills for electricity consumed. • Pay security deposit requested by the Disco and other requirements for connection stipulated by NERC. • Vigilant protection of electrical installations. • Cordiality towards electricity workers. • Use energy efficiently. Expectations • The operators are expected to carry out massive enlightenment campaigns to educate customers. • Roll out plans for print, electronic and customer sensitization programs on various themes on billing, estimation, metering, e.t.c. • Provide information on Customer Complaints Units and Forum Office. CONSUMER OBLIGATIONS

  8. Bottlenecks: • Current status of DISCOs Customer Complaints Units (CCUs) not in consonance with the Regulation [Section 3] • Forum Offices yet to be established in some DISCOs. [Section 4 (10)]. • Inadequate publicity of the Forum Offices activities by the DISCOs in line with the Regulation. [Section 7 (4)]. • Inefficient handling of complaints by front line Customer service personnel Customer Complaints Handling Standards and Procedures

  9. Expectations: • Establishment of functional Customer Complaints Units (CCUs) in all the Business Units as a minimum. • Provision of conducive environment for customers lodging complaints. • Training of front line customer service personnel of CCUs. • Provision of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems including customer complaints call centers. • Establishment of functional Customer complaints Forum offices • Compliance to monthly reporting requirements as stipulated in the Regulation. Customer Complaints Handling Standards and Procedures ConT’d

  10. Bottlenecks: • Timely submission of monthly reporting obligations to the Commission • Submission of inaccurate and manipulated data • Non Adherence to set Service level standards for performance for Distribution Companies (High frequency of power outages and long duration of outages, Lack of notice to Customers on planned supply interruptions) • Sharp practices by Disco staff • Non publication of standards of performance by DISCOs Customer Service Standards of Performance For Distribution Companies.

  11. Expectations: • The Commission expects strict adherence to Customer Service Standards Regulation. • Adherence to reporting on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) deviations or exclusions on number of new service connections, metering ratio, Rebicol Ratio, etc • Establishment and effective manning of Performance management units. • Reporting on deviations or exclusions from Customer service standards. Customer Service Standards of Performance For Distribution Companies.

  12. Concerns: • Low ratio of metered customers due to non-adherence to Meter Roll out plan. • Inadequate information on Billing receipt (In line with Section 2.4 of the above Regulation. • Massive arbitrary billing of customers. • Non adherence to Commission’s regulation on routine meter readings where necessary. • Controversy on Inherited bills Expectations: • Improved information dissemination on metering to Customers on • Acquiring meters • Faulty Meters • Replacement of Faulty meters • Frequency of Meter reading Meter Reading, Billing, Cash Collections & Credit Management for Electricity Supplies:

  13. Submission of comprehensive metering plan in line with loss reduction strategy • Detailed submission of list of customers billed on estimation • Review of bill format to include information as contained in the Regulation and others like Federal Government subsidy deductions, Power Consumer assistance Fund (PCAF), etc. Meter Reading, Billing, Cash Collections & Credit Management for Electricity Supplies:

  14. Concerns: • Lopsided new connection agreement in favor of Operators (Form 74). • Delay in re-connection of supply to Customers after payment. • Wrongful disconnection of customers • Mass disconnection of paying and non-paying customers Expectations: • Urgent review of new service connection agreement document between the Operator and Customers. • Communicate understanding of connection procedures and technical requirements • Sensitization on Connection • Notification before disconnection Connections & Disconnections Procedures for Electricity Services:

  15. Effective funding of consumer protection efforts • Availability of resources to ensure prompt response to emerging customer protection issues. • Implementation of effective enforcement provisions where non-compliance of Customer protection Regulations are identified. • Information sharing with other operational divisions of the Commission. • Training and twining exchanges with other regulatory bodies facing similar challenges. CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS

  16. Development of Call Centre Standards for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry. • Training support and exchanges on how to carry out effective data analysis. • Training support and exchanges on how to effectively protect customer data. Areas which we require support from naruc

  17. Electricity on Demand CONCLUSION Quality & Reliability Of Service Accuracy Of Bill & Easy Payment Modes No wrongful Disconnection CUSTOMER SATISFACTION Prompt Complaint Handling

  18. THANK YOU Contact us at: Adamawa Plaza, Plot 1099 First Avenue, Off Shehu Shagari Way, Central Business District, Abuja Website: www.nercng.org E-mail: info@nercng.org