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NIGERIAN ELECTRICITY REGULATORY COMMISSION Partnership Exchange With The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development October 8 -12, 2012 Electricity on Demand
OUTLINE • • • Introduction MPSC Experience IURC Experience Lesson Learnt Way Forward Electricity on Demand
Introduction NARUC, NERC Partnership Program, the 8 th in its series is a platform for the exchange of experience, ideas and information between NERC and NARUC. The goals of this important partnership is to: • Ensure improvement in regulatory practices • Build institutional capacities • Human capital development
Introduction Parallel Breakout Session– Group 1 • Topic: IT Complaint Handling System Group • Membership: • Lead Moderators: Contessa Poole-King (Mo. PSC) Anthony Akah (NERC) Kenya Mc. Millin, Saidu Lawal, Chijoke Obi, Anthony Essien, Arit Uya, Zubair, Uche Okoro, Daisy Okpale, Chinedu Anyigor, Abdullahi Adamu, Abdulrasheed Busari, Farouk Bello, Ntui Columbus, John Iyangemar, Abubakar Maude, Dennis Ogbu, Ishaya Bassi
Missouri Public Service Commission Established in 1913. Five Commissioners appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Missouri Senate for a six-year term. Regulates investor-owned electric, steam, natural gas, water, sewer and telephone companies Regulates manufacturers and retail dealers who sell new and used manufactured homes and modular units Mission: Ensuring Missouri consumers have access to safe, reliable and reasonably priced utility service while allowing those utility companies under our jurisdiction an opportunity to earn a reasonable return on their investment.
Mo. PSC-Complaints Handling Procedure Informal Complaints • • § Consumer Inquiry: An issue PSC staff can resolve without contacting the utility company. Inquiries also incorporate EFIS Quick Hits that include “referrals” to other information sources on matters over which the PSC has no jurisdiction (wireless, cable TV billing issues, Internet service providers, satellite service). Informal Complaint: An issue typically involving a billing, payment, service quality or safety issue that requires PSC staff to contact the utility company for mediation or resolution. It does not necessarily mean the utility has violated Commission rules and regulations or the company’s tariff. Utility cooperation is critical. § Educate Consumers : on such issues as billing, service outages, inter-company processes, installation process and assistance programs. § Timely Response with Complete Information: Respond on disconnects within 1 business day and for all other issues within 3 -15 business days. Provide as much detail as possible to avoid Consumer Services staff requesting additional information (Follow Check list developed by the Commission on various categories of complaints)
Mo. PSC-Complaints Handling Procedure Formal Complaints • • If complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the informal complaint, as an appeal process, a formal complaint may be filed. The Commission may order, at any time after the filing of a formal complaint, an answer from the utility regarding the allegations and an additional investigation by the staff as to the facts of the complaint. The utility shall file an answer and staff shall file a report of its findings with the commission and all parties to the complaint case. The Commission orders a pre-hearing so that the parties can discuss any additional discovery necessary, state the list of witnesses and exhibit. Parties shall provide a list of suggested dates and estimated length of the hearing to the Judge. The Judge then encourages the parties to discuss possible settlement. The Commission after receiving notice from the parties will determine if a hearing shall be held and shall set date, time and place of the hearing.
Mo. PSC- Information Data System Called EFIS- Electronic Filing and Information A customized solution - A web based application for: • Electronic filing, tariffs and registration • Imaging with OCR • Automated workflow • Centralized file repository • Full text search engine • Consumer complaint management • Performance metrics and reports • Resource library Planning to upgrade to a Microsoft Share. Point based solution
Strategic Benefits to Mo. PSC • MPSC handles consumer complaints more quickly; • Utility companies save time and money with electronic filings; • Legislators, policy makers and constituents know more about utility rates and issues. • Elimination of transfer time (between steps); • Estimated savings $2. 6 M/year; • 25% productivity gain; • Time savings of 2 hours per employee per day realized in many departments (Administration Estimates for FY 2003).
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission(IURC) Five Commissioners appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Indiana Senate for a four-year term. Consumer Affairs Division serves as liaison between utility rate payers and the Utility. Consumer Affairs Division handles residential and small business complaints
IURC-Complaints Handling Procedure Prerequisite: The customer has to attempt to resolve the matter with the Utility company prior to contacting CAD. If the customer is not satisfied, he or she may contact the CAD to file a complaint. The Utility is required to inform the customer to contact CAD within 7 days of Utility’s resolution The CAD does not have the discretion to accept complaints outside the 7 -day timeframe.
IURC-Complaints Handling Procedure Complaint Process is IT based: Complaint received by telephone to a Hotline, fax, letter or email there is IN-TAKER that receives all calls/complaints and registers them Customer’s info entered into database Complaint assigned to Analyst forwards complaints to Utility addresses complaint Analyst investigates Utility’s reply and applies rules & regulations A decision is made Resolution conveyed to customer & utility
IURC-Complaints Handling Procedure Dispute Resolution Options: • Informal Process – Analyst advises customer of right to request a Director’s review within 7 days. – Director reviews case with powers to request for additional information from both parties and renders a decision and mails a written copy of disposition to customer and the utility. • Formal Process – The customer has 20 days form receipt of Director’s review to request an appeal to the full Commission. – After an appeal is requested the case is given a docket number and is assigned an Administrative Law Judge. – The Commission will only review what is on record and its decision is binding.
IURC- Information Technology Management Current database is based on Microsoft Dynamics CRM -Has electronic complaints form where customer info is entered - Standard Reports from the database are displayed as Microsoft excel files - Ability to view Pending cases, Flagged cases, Completed cases e. t. c. - Some utilities grants limited access to IURC to view customer information via a website. Has commenced the upgrading of their system to a Microsoft Share. Point / Dynamics XRM solution.
Benefits to IURC • MPSC handles consumer complaints more quickly; • Utility companies save time and money with electronic filings; • Legislators, policy makers and constituents know more about utility rates and issues. • Elimination of transfer time (between steps); • Estimated savings $2. 6 M/year; • 25% productivity gain; • Time savings of 2 hours per employee per day realized in many departments (Administration Estimates for FY 2003).
Lessons Learnt • IT based Complaints Handling solution is a win- win –win situation for the Regulator, Utility and Customer • Single point of contact for all complaints • Cooperation of Utilities is a critical component • It assists in ensuring timelines for complaints’ resolution are adhered to • Adherence to service standards are observed • Assists in performance measurement; internally and externally • It eliminates ex-parte issues • It leverages on Credit Bureau to ensure customer credibility to pay electricity bills and check financial abuse by customers. • It provides easy access to data to enhance enforcement
Way Forward • There should be a ‘chinese wall’ in the Commission so as not to compromise the objectivity of the Commission during formal Hearings • NERC should begin to optimally use its IT tools i. e. Share. Point , Outlook • More NERC staff should involved in the Partnership activity both abroad and locally • Build a better relationship between the Commission and Utilities through quarterly meetings, information sharing and designation of liaison officers
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