NERC Introduces App for Customers to Report Power Outages
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A mobile application for customers to report power outages in their area has been introduced by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).
The platform, known as the Power Outage Reporting System (PORS), is available for download via the Google Play Store and the Apple Store.
The reporting app was launched in Abuja on Monday, with the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) used to test run it.
The Commissioner of Consumer Affairs at NERC, Ms Aisha Mahmud, disclosed that the system would be used to monitor how the 11 licenced electricity distribution companies (Discos) respond to and resolve customers’ complaints about power supply disruptions.
“If you have a complaint, what you need to do is download the app, input your meter number and then, after that, log in with your complaint, the app will automatically send a confirmation to the customer on that particular feeder of yours by notifying if there is really an outage.
“If there is, then we need about two to three customers to confirm that there’s an outage on that particular feeder. As soon as they confirm that, the app will send the confirmation to the Disco with a resolution timeline. As soon as the Disco resolves this complaint, it will update the app, saying we’ve resolved this complaint. The app will automatically send another confirmation request to those customers on that particular feeder.
“Now, the customer can easily reach out to the Disco, and of course, we are trying to fulfil our regulatory obligation here to ensure that customers get the best service they need,” Ms Mahmud explained.
She disclosed that this project has been handed over to the energy distribution firms to implement, though NERC will continue to carry out the oversight function of the app and will continue to monitor it and make sure that it works properly and appropriately.
“The power outage reporting system is one of those initiatives developed by the commission just to make sure that our customers are well-protected,” she said.
Ms Mahmud noted that PORS has a multi-channel approach to obtain a lot of data from customers in outages as well as hours of supply given to customers on each service band.
“It utilises a multi-channel approach. A lot of hard work and effort went into developing this app. We liaised with the different distribution companies and obtained a lot of data on their customers,” she added, urging electricity consumers to “make use of this app and report any case of outage if there is any; and know that the commission is here to protect you to make sure you get value for your money and get the services that you truly deserve from the distribution company.”
On his part, the Chairman of NERC, Mr Sanusi Garba, also appealed to customers to channel their complaints through the app.
“We encourage customers to go to the Google Play Store and Apple Store to download this application to lay your complaint, and somebody in the commission will be monitoring to see that the distribution company has attended to the complaint,” he added.