Patna: Urban consumers in Bihar will soon be provided with prepaid smart electricity meters.
The power companies will sign a memorandum of understanding with Energy Efficiency Services Limited this month to install the meters.
With the deal, around 20 lakh power consumers living in urban areas will be moved to the new facility. It will allow consumers to plan their power consumption in advance and also free power distribution companies of the task to collect monthly bills from consumers.
To begin with, the prepaid meters will be installed in select districts of north and south Bihar from August. Installation of these smart meters, which can be recharged through cellphones, will be done in all urban areas over a period of 18 months from the day the work starts in the select districts.
Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited director (administration) R. Lakshmanan told The Telegraph: “We will sign an agreement with ESSL in June to install the smart prepaid electricity meters for urban consumers. The actual work will begin in August and work would be started in urban areas of selected districts in north and south Bihar.”
The project will start off from Patna, Ara, Biharsharif, Aurangabad and Sasaram in south Bihar, and Hajipur, Purnea, Begusarai and Sitamarhi in north Bihar.
Lakshmanan said consumers would not have to pay anything for meter installation as the power distribution companies will bear it. “The consumers would have to pay monthly meter rentals as they do in the existing system as well,” he added.
Right now, consumers pay as per the bill generated on the basis of reading of their electricity meters. With the smart prepaid meters, consumers will just need to recharge their meters with amount of choice. They will get regular alerts about amount money left in their account, with urban consumers being able to recharge the facility through a mobile app or online.
The smart meters will also allow the power distribution companies tabs on the usage pattern of consumers. In case of any tampering, automated report would be generated.
On plans to launch a similar facility for the rural consumers, Lakshmanan said it will be done in selected rural feeders on a pilot basis. After a detailed study, any policy decision will be taken, he added.
Courtesy: The Telegraph