Cash-strapped PSPCL makes pre-paid smart meters mandatory for Punjab government offices

The government departments owed over Rs 2,600 crore to PSPCL, and with this new system, they will be required to make advance payments for the prepaid meters.

Published: 08th February 2023 12:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th February 2023 12:23 PM   |  A+A-

electricity, power, grid

Image used for representational purpose only.

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: To thwart bill pendency with government departments, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) made pre-paid smart meters mandatory for all government connections within fifteen days.

The government departments owed over Rs 2,600 crore to PSPCL, and with this new system, they will be required to make advance payments for the prepaid meters and appoint a Nodal Officer for each connection.

A total of 53,000 notices have been issued to various government offices across the state.

The PSPCL has announced the introduction of pre-paid smart meters for government connections with a contract demand of 45 KVA, starting March 1.

The move aims to encourage consumers to be more involved in their electricity consumption patterns by paying in advance for future consumption.

For advance payments, they will get a 1 per cent rebate on the consumption of electricity. "The existing consumers will be served 15 days' notice for converting to prepaid meters. The notice will contain details of the last 12 months' energy consumption and Circular 2023 billed amount for the respective consumer,’’ states the order issued by the Deputy Chief Engineer (Regulation) of PSPCL.

It further reads, "A 15-day notice will be issued to existing consumers for converting to prepaid meters, while new connections will mandatorily be released with prepaid meters only. The PSPCL will provide and install the prepaid meters at its own cost, and no meter cost will be charged to consumers. The minimum recharge amount for government connections will be Rs. 1000 and alerts will be sent to consumers when their account balance reaches certain levels."

"Recharge can be done through various platforms such as PSPCL's website, mobile app, and various digital payment methods. There will be an alert message on the meter/metering system when the balance amount in the meter account has reached 50 per cent, 25 per cent and then 10 per cent of the last recharge amount," it read.

"These alert messages shall also be sent to the consumer on the registered Mobile number through SMS, registered e-mail and on PSPCL mobile application. After these alert messages, the consumers may be advised that immediate steps should be taken to recharge the pre-paid account to avoid disconnection," it stated. 

The electricity supply will be automatically cut off when the recharge amount reaches zero and the supply will be resumed after recharging. A final electronic bill will be issued to consumers, and the connection may be disconnected permanently if the account is not recharged within six months of temporary disconnection.

The PSPCL has urged all government departments to comply with these instructions for a smooth implementation of the new system.


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