Menu Close

Consumer Protection: NERC activates power outage reporting, tariff-monitoring system for DisCos

*Sanusi Garba, Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, explains the new App will assist the power sector regulator to monitor and ensure the 11 electricity Distribution Companies comply with set tariffs for power consumers in the country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As part of measures to protect consumers’ interest in the sector, the  Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has launched a ‘power outage reporting system.

ConsumerConnect reports the power sector regulatory Commission stated the new real-time online system is aimed at addressing customer complaints and cases of power disruptions across the country.

Sanusi Garba, Chairman of NERC, speaking on the occasion of the launch Monday, September 11, 2023, in Abuja, FCT, explained that the App would assist the commission in monitoring and ensuring that distribution companies comply with set tariffs.

Garba noted the App is in line with the Commission’s mandate of introducing regulations that protect the rights of consumers.

According to him, the real-time system provides a timeline within which the electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) are expected to address customer complaints in the power sector.

The Chairman of NERC said: “I think a lot of you can recall that we recently launched a new consumer protection regulation that provides timelines within which public utilities, especially Distribution Companies (DisCos), are required to resolve customer complaints.

“So, this particular app that we have launched today is supposed to assist the commission in monitoring that DisCos are complying with the standards set out in that regulation.”

Garba also disclosed that plans were ongoing to put smart meters on feeders for accurate data, or near real-time data.

NERC has discovered that the DisCos are complying with the obligation in real time, he stated.

The Chairman further noted: “We decided to start this launch with Abuja. There’ll be a national rollout for all distribution companies. “Such a massive application would require some test run and so on.

“So, AEDC is like a guinea pig for the app but we’ll quickly extradite the rollout to other distribution companies but obviously the DisCos where we are having the highest level of complaints will be ranked higher in terms of the rollout.”

In his address at the event, Christopher Ezeafulukwe, Managing Director of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) stressed that customers’ feedback is an important material for the DisCos as it aids improved service delivery to electricity consumers in Nigeria.

Ezeafulukwe said: “I dare say feedback from our customers is actually for the distribution company, what I would call our feedstock.

“It is the raw material that we need to be able to deliver the services that we actually contract to provide.

“One big takeaway is that the app we’re about to launch is a product of collaboration between the commission, the distribution company, and eventually the customers.”

The AEDC Chief also said: “It then implies that it will be a win-win for all of us. On the part of the regulator, it’s already been said that it will be greater oversight and not just oversight for oversight’s sake but to ensure that value is being created sustained and protected.

“On the part of the distribution company, this will actually help catalyse more data-based decisions on our part.”

Speaking at the event, Aisha Mahmud, Commissioner for Consumer Affairs at NERC, explained the regulator launched App in partnership with the DisCos.

Mahmud, disclosed “the App utilises a multi-channel approach. We liaised with the different Distribution Companies, and obtained data on their customers.

“So, if you’re a customer of a DisCo and the DisCo is supplying you, your information is already stored in that app.

“If you complain about any outage, there are multiple channels.”

The Commissioner for Consumer Affairs explained: “There is a Web and mobile app, so you can download it on your phone through Apple or Google store. You just need your meter number.

“You download the app, you put your meter number and then after that, you log in your complaint and the app will automatically send a confirmation to the customers on that particular feeder of yours to find out if there is an outage.”

She further noted: “If there is, we need about two to three customers to confirm an outage on that feeder.

“As soon as they confirm that, the app will send that confirmation to the DisCo with a resolution timeline.”

Mahmud stated: “And as soon as the DisCo resolves this complaint, the DisCo will update the app, saying ‘we’ve resolved this complaint’ and the app will automatically send another confirmation request to those customers on that particular feeder.”

Kindly Share This Story





Kindly share this story