GNERC Chairman David Narmania addresses International Consumer Rights Day conference

Tbilisi: The Chairman of the National Commission for Energy and Water Supply of Georgia (GNERC), David Narmania, spoke about the protection of the rights of consumers in the energy and water supply sectors at the conference dedicated to International Consumer Rights Day.

 “This year, for the first time, 6 agencies joint consumer rights week is being held, aimed at unanimously informing consumers about consumer rights protection in different spheres. It should be noted that SEMEC, along with the Energy Ombudsman since 2014, has been celebrating International Consumer Rights Day every year with various events. 

SEMEC pays close attention to consumer rights protection both at the legislative level and in the implementation of regulatory practice.

The slogan of SEC – “When the balance is protected” fully reflects the principle of SEMEC’s activity. Consumer protection mechanisms in the electricity, natural gas and water sectors have been developed. In order to ensure simple procedures for disputes between consumers and companies, the Consumer Complaints Department was established in 2014 in SEMEC, where up to 20,000 applications/complaints have been submitted. 

SEMEC has made more than 10 thousand individual decisions, most of which were satisfied in the benefit of its customers; the sum of the money signed by SEMEC exceeds 25 million GEL. In addition, according to SEMC decisions, companies pay more than 2 million GEL compensation to customers.

2019 In 2019, SEMEC was awarded ISO 9001-2015 International Quality Management System Standard, and one of its main principles is customer orientation. A number of projects have been implemented to improve the provision of utility services. Among them is a joint project between Semec and Justice House, under which citizens can receive communal services in houses of justice.

We have installed *303# telephone service. This service allows you to get information about utility services and apply to companies. Until now, more than 1 million citizens have benefited from *303# service. We have introduced a simplified rule for disputes.

 “To resolve the issue in a timely manner, a simple dispute is resolved without oral hearing in a public hearing, work is currently underway on a single user portal which will bring customers all services related to electricity, natural gas and water sector under one roof,” David Narmania said in his speech.

 On March 13-17, on the initiative of the National Competition Agency and organized by SEMEK, Competition Agency, Communications Commission, National Bank, State Supervisory Service, and National Food Agency, the First International Week of Consumer Rights in Georgia will be held. 

During the week, regulatory agencies will discuss sectoral consumer rights reforms, results received, existing challenges, enforcement mechanisms, effective consumer awareness campaigns and international experiences.

Satyam Dawar

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