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NARUC/NIGERIA REGULATORY PARTNERSHIP Peer Review Presented by Elijah Abinah Assistant Director Public Utilities Division Arizona Corporation Commission.

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Presentation on theme: "NARUC/NIGERIA REGULATORY PARTNERSHIP Peer Review Presented by Elijah Abinah Assistant Director Public Utilities Division Arizona Corporation Commission."— Presentation transcript:

1 NARUC/NIGERIA REGULATORY PARTNERSHIP Peer Review Presented by Elijah Abinah Assistant Director Public Utilities Division Arizona Corporation Commission CONSUMER SERVICES SECTION

2 Duties/Responsibilities of Consumer Service Section Utilities Division of the Arizona Corporation Commission

3 The Consumer Services Section of the Utilities Division was established by Arizona Revised Statutes § 40-110 to receive and investigate consumer complaints and to provide information concerning utility rates and regulatory proceedings of public service corporations regulated by the Arizona Corporation Commission (“ACC”).

4 In addition to its normal day-to-day responsibilities involving complaint investigations, mediations and field visits associated with such, the Consumer Services Section performs the following functions: Coordination and Participation of Public Comment Meetings Resulting from Rate Case Applications, CC&N’s and other controversial cases. Interim Manager Monitoring After placement of an Interim Manager which resulted from mismanagement by utility owner. Review and Process Rate Applications A team effort including each section of the Division whereby Consumer Service Staff reviews and evaluates quality of service, billing, miscellaneous charges, and complaint history to make recommendations for Commission consideration.

5 Review and Approval of Utility Customer Outreach Program Staff works with utilities to ensure consumers are made aware of services, rate plans and company offerings that are available Post-Decision Customer Notice Review and Approval Review of Customer Notice to ensure all rate changes are clearly identified and that the Notice is issued in a timely manner. Meter Reading Investigations Staff ensures that the Utility follows required meter maintenance/meter reading and billing procedures.

6 Post-Decision Review and Approval of Tariffs Consumer Service Staff reviews the Order for accuracy and ensures the utility filed tariffs are in compliance with the Decision. Commissioner and Director’s Office Referrals Consumer Services investigates complaints that are received by Commissioners and Director’s Office to determine if the utility has followed Rules, Regulations, Statutes and approved tariffs.

7 Director’s Office Special Projects Consumer Services assist in areas such as creating Consumer Service Brochures, Website Design and content, maintaining current utility contact information, tariff updates, etc. Mediations between Consumers & Utility Companies Consumer Services schedules and coordinates mediations resulting from unresolved informal complaints. Staff will act as mediator in the proceeding in an effort to reach a resolution agreeable to both parties. Participation in Order to Show Cause Cases Consumer Services will present violations to the Director’s Office relating to utility issues after attempts to rectify them. Staff may also testify in the hearing process.

8 Testimony in Rate Cases and Formal Complaint proceedings Consumer Services Staff may provide testimony regarding recommendations for Miscellaneous Services Charges, Quality of Service improvements and complaint history in a rate case. During Formal Complaint proceedings Staff may provide testimony regarding investigation and outcome of the informal complaint, this would include unresolved mediations.

9 Consumer Service Complaint Process Consumer Service Staff is available to assist consumers who have been unsuccessful in resolving a complaint with their utility. Complaints may be issued for consumers who are designated as an authorized account holder. Staff will advise third party callers, such as roommates, landlord/tenant, etc. to have account holders call to issue a complaint.

10 Consumer Service Complaint Process Utility companies under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Arizona Corporation Commission are required to abide by the rules and regulations within the Arizona Administrative Code as well as their approved tariffs. These Rules specifically outline the requirements of establishment, quality/termination of service, meter reading, billing requirements, etc. Rules prevent: wrongful disconnection of service, such as “inherited bills”, “massive arbitrary billing”, mass disconnection of paying/non- paying customers and proper notice requirements prior to disconnection; unreasonable deposit requirements, delay in service installation/reconnection, untimely/estimated meter reads and inaccurate billing.

11 Filing a complaint Complaints may be filed in several ways. In person, email, fax, telephonically or in writing. Staff will provide the utility a copy of complaint. Issues will be clearly defined in the request for investigation. Pursuant to the Rules, the utility must provide a status update within five business days.

12 Resolution Successful If the utility resolves the issue with the consumer. The informal complaint is closed. If a resolution can not be reached, the following step may be taken. Unsuccessful The matter may be escalated to the next step, “Mediation”.

13 Resolution cont…………… Mediation If consumer and utility agree to mediate the issues raised within the informal complaint, Staff will schedule and coordinate a Mediation. At mediation both parties will have the opportunity to present their respective views and proposed remedies to the issues. Upon conclusion of the mediation, if a resolution has not been reached, Staff will issue a non-binding decision defining the resolution Staff believes to be fair and reasonable. If the consumer remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the informal complaint and mediation, the consumer may escalate the informal complaint to the final step, “Formal Complaint”.

14 Formal Complaint A formal complaint proceeding is much like a court case. A consumer may file a formal complaint by submitting a detailed, description of his/her dispute, the actions in which he/she has taken to address the dispute, the specific rules and/or approved tariffs that the consumer believes were violated by the utility and the resolution that he/she is seeking. Recommended Opinion and Order / Open Meeting The Hearing Division will assign an Administrative Law Judge to the formal complaint proceeding. Both parties will be required to testify before an ALJ. Upon conclusion of all testimony and evidence being taken into consideration and made part of the record, the ALJ will prepare a Recommended Opinion and Order. The Commissioners will take these recommendations into consideration when rendering a decision in the matter at an Open Meeting. Decision

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