The Trinidad & Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC ), and the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA)
are the sole Service Providers in the Electricity Transmission and Distribution Sector and the Water and Wastewater Sector in Trinidad and Tobago respectively. Therefore, as monopoly utilities, they do not face the normal competitive pressures that would be an impetus to ensuring a high quality of service.
As such, the RIC as the regulator of these Service Providers has instituted a number of measures to ensure that their customers are provided with a high quality of supply. One such measure is the enforcement of a “Quality of Service Standards” Programme. Under this approach, the Service Provider is required to make guaranteed payments to customers who receive service below a certain benchmark. Currently, this is one of the most common approaches used by regulators to control service standards.
The standards are generally divided into guaranteed and overall standards.
These standards set service levels that must be met in the provision of service to each individual consumer.
Failure to meet guaranteed standards requires a specific payment to be made to the affected customer.
Penalty payments have the effect of providing relatively strong incentives to meet the minimum level of service quality specified but little incentive to outperform it. The payments also are set somewhat arbitrarily and usually below the cost of the inconvenience suffered by consumers.
These standards cover areas of service that affect all or a large group of customers and, therefore,
compensatory payments are not feasible. However, even in such circumstances,
it is desirable for the firm to provide service at a predetermined minimum quality.
Under this approach, the primary purpose is to provide an incentive to improve key aspects
of service rather than to provide some form of compensation.
Electricity Transmission and Distribution Sector (T&TEC)
The Quality of Service Standards pertaining to T&TEC have been instituted since April, 2004.
They were revised in December 2009 and will generally be reviewed every three years to ensure
that they continue to set the appropriate standard of service to be provided to customers.
Water and Wastewater Sector (WASA)
The Quality of Service Standards pertaining to WASA have yet to be instituted by the RIC.
There has been Public Consultation on proposed standards. Once these standards have been enacted,
they will generally be reviewed every three years to ensure that they continue to set the appropriate standard of service to be provided to customers.
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