NERC Unveils Power Outage Reporting App, Begins With Abuja DisCo

NERC Unveils Power Outage Reporting App, Begins With Abuja DisCo

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As part of efforts to resolve issues of power disruption the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), has launched a digital application called the Power Outage Reporting System, which enables consumers to report electricity disruptions to distribution companies.

The system is to be monitored by the NERC to see how fast the electricity distribution companies respond to consumer complaints about power disruptions.

The application, which was unveiled in Abuja on Monday, will use Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) to test-run it.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony in Abuja, the NERC Chairman, Sanusi Garba, said the aim of launching the application was to ensure that DisCos are compelled to respond timely and address electricity disruptions reported by consumers.

Garba explained that there is a new regulation that provides timelines within which public utilities, especially distribution companies, are required to resolve complaints from customers.

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The app, according to him, would “assist the commission in monitoring whether DisCos are complying with the standard set out in that regulation.”

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Speaking further on how the Commission came up with the idea of birthing the application, the NERC boss said: “Originally, the application was designed for crowd-sourcing data for the purpose of service-based tariffs. By crowd-sourcing, the application was to sample the quality of supply that customers are experiencing.

“But the commission decided that it is better to put smart meters on all feeders so that we have 100 per cent live data or near real-time data to ensure that the DisCos are actually complying with the service obligations that are prescribed in the tariff orders.”

He urged customers to visit the Apple Store or Google Play Store (depending on the smartphone one is using) to download the app.

“The app is to help customers report disruptions in supply in their areas,” he added.

He further explained that with the application, power consumers who make complaints would be able to also monitor the progress being made in resolving the issues and that the commission would also see it.

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He disclosed that after test-running the app with Abuja DisCo, there will be a national roll-out to integrate all distribution companies in the system.

Commenting on the development, President, Nigeria Consumer Protection Network, and Coordinator, Power Sector Perspectives, Kunle Olubiyo, noted that the importance of the app in the power sector, especially on the regulation of DisCos, cannot be overemphasized.

Olubiyo said: “This is because when you consider the primary essence of regulation, you know that without a close tab on what the Discos are doing; it (the regulation) will be defeated. So, this is a good step because NERC from its headquarters here can now monitor what the Discos are doing and not the report that the Discos will give to NERC.”

PBA Reporter
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