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Power summit focus on customer service

Muscat, April 4, 2013

Customer services offered by energy companies will form part of the agenda for the upcoming Oman Power and Water Summit (OPWS) 2013 in Muscat.

The third annual event will take place from May 5 to 7 at Al Bustan Palace Muscat.

"No longer are the utility services of electricity and water either 'dull' or 'backwater'. Energy policy is top of the agenda in Oman, just as it is in Great Britain and the European Union,” said Stuart Cook, managing director, E-Serve and board member, OFGEM, UK.

“The triple challenge of ensuring security of supply, affordability and reducing carbon emissions is a common global theme. Industry models, regulation and structures are at the heart of the resolution of these challenges. The Oman Power and Water Summit 2013 is focused on addressing these issues in Oman and provides the opportunity to listen to other countries' experiences,” added the key speaker at OPWS 2013.

The summit will explore five key themes which include: Oman's energy policy review, customer service, asset management, health and safety and renewable energy projects.

Over 25 international utility industry experts will join key representatives from the Public Authority for Electricity and Water, Authority for Electricity Regulation, Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, Electricity Holding Company and Oman Power and Water Procurement Company.

When asked about whether ongoing complaints, such as price and complexity, can be addressed by new regulations or polices, Teresa Perchard from Citizens Advice said: "I think there are a few things that policy makers in other countries could probably learn from, such as the introduction of competition in our energy market.

“It was expected to improve competition for consumers to shop around and find the best deals that could drive up standards and drive down price."

Perchard noted that the introduction of competition into the UK energy market reduces trust in the energy suppliers but as prices have continued to rise, consumers are less and less likely to switch.

The result is "more regulations on the energy market requiring fewer tariffs, simpler tariffs, information on bills to be much clearer…which is not what you usually expect from a competitive market. In fact…because of the aspects of the competition, you have to regulate more tightly", she said. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Muscat | Energy | Customer services |

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