September 8, 2023

Electricity: NERC orders DisCos on handling of consumers’ complaints


By Udeme Akpan, Energy Editor

THE Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, NERC, yesterday, issued a new regulatory instrument or Order targeted at achieving faster handling of consumers’ complaints in the power sector.

The instrument – Order on Deployment of Customer Engagement Platforms – aims at “providing guidance on the minimum standards for the deployment of all call centers by DisCos pursuant to section 119 of the Electricity Act and standardizing call centers deployed by DisCos for seamless integration with the Commission’s call center.”

In the Order obtained by Vanguard, the Commission said: “All DisCos shall within eight weeks from the commencement of this Order, deploy a complaint management and ticketing platform”, adding that, “they must within three months from the commencement of this Order, deploy fully featured customer engagement platforms.

“The Order shall take effect from September 1, 2023, and shall remain in force till amended or revoked by subsequent Orders issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.”

However, in its first quarter 2023 report, NERC disclosed that, “The DisCos cumulatively received 249,683 complaints from consumers in 2023/Q1. This is 11,595 (4.44%) complaints less than those received in 2022/Q4. In total, the DisCos resolved 229,101 complaints corresponding to a 91.76% resolution rate which is similar to the 91.38% recorded in 2022/Q4. Metering, billing, and service interruption were the prevalent sources of customer complaints, accounting for more than 79% of the total complaints during the quarter.”