Ikeja Electric Re-Engineers Billing Process; Deploys Technology For Instant Billingikj
In her attempt to improve upon billing cycles, Ikeja Electric, Nigeria’s largest distribution company has introduced a new e-billing initiative. The project takes advantage of technology upgrades within the business, thereby enabling post-paid customer with various options for receiving their power bills. This service is however complementary to IE’s paper bill delivery and not a replacement.
The project allows post-paid customers receive text messages indicating their current month power consumption and corresponding bill. This sms is however received only by customers whose numbers are captured on IE’s billing platform. For customers with valid e-mail accounts registered on her billing platform, IE sends details of the bill with a PDF copy of the customer bill attached. The attachment provides the customer’s bill summary, bill details, bill history as well as links to our various online payment channels. Not to be left out, a pilot programme for Maximum Demand Customers is currently running, where they can register on IE’s website to see details of their bills as well as payment history.
Ikeja Electric has consistently leveraged on technology to provide seamless service delivery for her customers. The new project will provide added convenience, as well speed up the entire payment processes for IE’s customers.
The project, divided into two phases, began with the pilot run targeted at only MD customers, who successfully received bill details via email and SMS. The next phase (starting with June bill) will feature NMD customers with email and/or mobile numbers listed on IE’s billing platform. Speaking on the response of MD customers to the initiative, Head Corporate Communications, Felix Ofulue said, “As this is a new initiative, we will need to deliver on several monthly bill delivery runs to begin to ascertain full customer response. But to date, we have seen a number of our MD customers already register on the IE E-bills website. This is a welcome development”.
Addressing concerns in some quarters that the use of technology portends possible job cuts for Energy Sales Representatives, Ofulue clarified that since NERC regulations stipulated paper bill distribution, the role of ESR’s was still required. He further buttressed that the role of ESR’s went beyond just bill distribution noting that they were a crucial part of IE’s service chain.
Customers are advised to update their records to ensure they receive the e-bills, accordingly.