At the end of April, Ms Salome Vardiashvili, the Georgian defender of consumer interests in the energy and water sector – Georgian Energy Ombudsman, presented the annual report 2018 in Tbilisi. In 2018, the service treated over 5000 cases and answered over 10000 questions from citizens, for a total population of around 3,7 million. This very high complaints rate can be explained in part due to the extensive public relations and communication work of the Ombudsman.
While most disputes concerned water supply, most complaints related to electricity and gas were due to errors in calculating the bill and bad service quality. Thanks to the work of the Ombudsman, consumers recovered over 400 000 euros (1,27 million lari).
NEON President Janusz Gwiazdowski and NEON Secretary General Annette Jantzen attended the presentation of the event, which also included presentations from members of the Georgian energy and water regulatory commission, a strong ally of the Energy Ombudsman.
The Georgian Energy Ombudsman joined NEON in January 2018. The service was established in 2003 and is supported by a team of 15 people. The Ombudsman is elected by the Parliament for a renewable term of 5 years.