Recovering electricity dues remains one of the major challenges of the power companies, especially from government offices. With a view to deal with this problem, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has planned to install pre-paid electricity meters in government offices.
A proposal in this regard was mooted to take the permission of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission. Once approved by the power regulator, the PSPCL will put up pre-paid power meters where there is possibility of greater default in the payment of bills.
The plan was approved by the chairman and board of directors way back in 2012. The PSPCL has already invited expressions of interests (EoIs) to hire best companies for installing the pre-paid meters as it required specialised technical work involving software and hardware upgardation.
Initially, pre-paid meters would be installed on temporary basis in government offices and then in the industry and the domestic sector.
A pre-paid power meter works like a pre-paid mobile and is like a conventional meter with additional features of computing the bill amount, accepting money credits and ensuring money credits to be more than the bill amount.
In case the bill amount exceeds the money credit, it automatically disconnects the power supply after
giving a warning to the consumer.
Delhi and Haryana have already started installing these meters.
The PSPCL, in the beginning, has planned to install 45,000 pre-paid meters in the state. It has called an expression of interest in this regard.
"Recovering electricity dues from government offices has always been a difficult job. This will really help us a lot, as it would automatically disconnect their power supply when their bill exceeds the limit", said an official dealing with the recovery of bills from government offices.
PSPCL intends to provide the facility of pre-paid meters to its consumers which shall be carried out in a phased manner for a total no. of around 35,000 single phase connections and 10,000 three phased connections, said the officials who have made the draft plan.
The PSPCL had also mooted the same plan in 2009, but had failed to implement it then.