Czech firm CEZ said that it was creating a new corporate position at its Bulgarian subsidiary, the energy ombudsman, whose job will be to improve the company’s customer relations.
CEZ, which services western Bulgaria, including capital city Sofia, is the target of an investigation by Bulgaria’s utility regulator that could result in its electricity distribution licenses being revoked – a decision is expected in April. The company has also been fined by the regulator for failing to adhere to regulations concerning the monthly measurement of electricity meters.
The company has appointed Radoslav Dimitrov, previously director of customer service at CEZ Bulgaria, to the new post. Appearing on local channel TV7’s breakfast show on March 12, Dimitrov said that his independence would be guaranteed by the fact that he would answer directly to the CEZ country manager.
The energy ombudsman would hear any customer complaints – but only if the complaint was previously lodged with a CEZ office and the customers feel that the issue was not solved to their liking, Dimitrov said. The ombudsman would also accept all suggestions on how to improve customer service.
The ombudsman would not accept cases where a lawsuit is under way or those under investigation by the State Energy and Water Regulatory Commission (SEWRC), CEZ said in a statement.
Dimitrov said that he hoped for a close relationship and co-operation with the national ombudsman, Konstantin Penchev. “We hope that the national ombudsman will approve of this initiative and we will have good co-operation. We are in no way trying to, nor can we, substitute his authority. The effect of having an energy ombudsman should be reducing the response time and a better awareness of customer problems,” Dimitrov said.
The new position is being created in line with European directive 2009/72/EC on common rules for the internal market in electricity, the company said. CEZ has had an energy ombudsman in the Czech Republic since 2009.
Customers will be able to contact the energy ombudsman by phone at 02/8958 450; fax – 02/8959 770; email – [email protected] or by mail – addressed to CEZ headquarters (140 Rakovski Str, Sofia 1000).