CEB introduces innovative solutions as online services

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) officially launched its online services to the nation along with other services created to support consumers and accelerate the CEB’s activities, on Wednesday (24) at the CEB Headquarters. 

These latest additions to the CEB’s services were innovative solutions in response to recurring consumer challenges and a step forward in the path of utilising advancing technological opportunities. The CEB has extended its service channels in this regard.

CEB Head Engineer Jagath Samarawickrama, introducing the additions at the event, commented: “As you know, the CEB has provided services to make activities convenient for consumers over the years. Thus, the CEB wants to take this opportunity to introduce the latest additions to our ‘Smart Service’ line-up.

“As you may be aware, the CEB has already launched the CEB Care app. This app offers an extensive range of services which support and aid consumers. Also, the SMS service has also helped CEB consumers carry out their activities,” Samarawickrama added.

The CEB Care web portal was launched as the latest service which was incepted to digitalise and provide convenient services to consumers. As a result of this, the CEB’s consumers will have the option to access both the CEB Care web portal and the already available CEB Care app with a single set of user credentials.

“In addition to the existing CEB services, we want to introduce the latest addition to the CEB Smart Service line-up. For instance, as the old procedure of getting a new service connection involves filling an application at the CEB office, these online and additional services allow consumers to do this at ease from wherever they are located by using these latest services,” Samarawickrama explained. 

In addition, both the CEB Care web portal and CEB Care app involve a handful of facilities where more features are under development.

The “New Service Connection Request” feature gives consumers the ability to apply for a new service connection online and track the status of their application online. 

Also, the “Other Service Requests” feature involves consumers applying or requesting for services such as meter changes, pole shifting, billing corrections, and ownership change online and tracking the status of their application/request live. 

Another feature known as the “Breakdown Complaint” involves consumers lodging complaints online and tracking the state of progress of their complaints. 

Furthermore, the “Outage Calendar” feature involves consumers receiving a personalised outage calendar indicating scheduled electrical interruption details for subscribed accounts where consumers can check future scheduled interruptions. 

In addition to the “Outage Calendar”, the “Outage Map” exists as a similar feature where consumers can check live outages in a geological map in the consumer’s area or neighbourhood. 

Also, the “Bill Calendar” feature gives customers the ability to estimate their monthly bill through the electricity bill calculator. 

Lastly, through the “Contacts” feature, consumers can check relevant details about and locations of the CEB offices. 

Along with the aforementioned online services, consumers can also register for CEB SMS services online or through SMS. This facility includes the ability to lodge complaints, register and unregister for the facility, and receive the latest account balance by sending a message to the CEB SMS service number 1987. 

In addition to this, another updated facility that the CEB said it had improved was its call centre services. This particular service was said to have improved in efficiency along with the addition of an Interactive and Automated Voice Response service (I/AVR). 

As it is common to carry or own an electronic device, the CEB expressed that it is ideal, convenient, and faster for consumers to connect to the CEB staff and crew online when in need of assistance. Thus, the CEB also introduced CEB Assist, which exists as a Smart Service that entails various systems and modules. 

CEB Assist comprises the CEB Care web portal and CEB Care app for consumers, whereas “CEB Assist Solutions”, which consists of nine systems with more than 35 modules, is used by the CEB office staff. The “Meter Assist”, “Breakdown Assist”, and “Disconnection Assist”, which also exist as online systems, are used by field crews to tend to field repairs. 

The CEB also mentioned the solutions for the two types of outages, i.e. planned and unplanned outages. 

It stated that planned outages, caused by field repairs such as preventive maintenance and new constructions, would involve CEB consumers receiving a notification through five of the interruption notification channels: contact centre and AVR, CEB Care web portal, CEB Care app, SMS, and newspaper.  

Whereas, unplanned outages caused by factors such as breakdowns and accidents involve consumers receiving an estimated restoration time through the aforementioned interruption notification channels, immediately after the CEB is aware of the outage. 

Furthermore, the CEB highlighted to have revamped internal processes to provide services and solutions with minimum consumer visits to the CEB office using the aforementioned systems and services. 

Minister of Power Dullas Alahapperuma stated: “The ministries, in collaboration with the CEB, are taking relevant steps to follow an advancing and successful path. We are also passing a milestone in the history of the CEB as we are making this launch. Thus, it is my responsibility to thank everyone who has worked on this project.

“There were allegations made against the CEB and its workers. These allegations stated that the CEB is not consumer-friendly. The public is unaware of the additions that were included in the CEB’s services; they are only aware of these allegations and are stuck in this mentality. There is no point transforming technology, if the attitudes don’t transform as well,” Alahapperuma added. 

This event was also graced by State Minister of Solar, Wind, and Hydropower Generation Projects Development Duminda Dissanayake; CEB Additional General Manager Dr. Rohantha Abeysekera, who welcomed the public to the event; CEB General Manager Kumudumi Herath, who voiced the vision of the CEB; along with CEB Chairman Vijitha Herath; followed by CEB Deputy General Manager Sujeewa Abeywickrama.