BHUBANESWAR: After piloting prepaid smart electric meter service in some government offices of Sambalpur, the Energy Department plans to roll out the project in Rourkela as part of its move to check power pilferage and tackle huge pending bills of domestic consumers.
“The State Government will extend the prepaid electricity service across the State after analysing the outcome of the pilot project in Sambalpur and Rourkela,” said Energy Minister Dibya Shankar Mishra on Monday.
The Energy department mulled the idea of installing prepaid energy meters in all government establishments at the district and block levels and complete the process by March 31, 2013 after Orissa High Court in its March, 2012 order said the power distributing companies (discoms) are at liberty to snap electric connections if the Government failed to clear its pending dues for 2011-12 fiscal within a month.
The court order came while disposing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) related to tariff hike. In the case, the petitioner had complained that large pending dues of Government departments are also factored into while calculating tariff of electric units.
Though Energy department had given an ultimatum to all district collectors for installation of pre-paid electric meters at all government offices including urban and local bodies and public sector undertakings situated in their districts before April 2013, this has failed to yield desired outcome due to non-cooperation of the discoms.
Under the new system, consumers will have to purchase prepaid electricity cards from discoms or from their authorised vendors. Power connection to the consumers will be disconnected automatically when the balance is exhausted. Power supply will be resumed only after recharging their accounts, said Energy Secretary Hemanta Sharma.
The discoms will provide one per cent discount to people who opt for the prepaid service. The new service will make the billing system less time consuming and hassle-free, he added.
As per the new system, a consumer has to install a display device near the meter which will show the units of power consumed. Unspent balance of a consumer of a particular month will be transferred to his account for the next month.
Apart from improving revenue collection of discoms, the prepaid meters system will reduce energy consumption and bring down the commercial loss in the distribution sector to a great extent, the Minister said.
● Consumer has to install a display device near the meter
● Unspent balance of a month will be transferred to consumer account for next month
● Consumer has to purchase prepaid electricity cards from discoms or authorised vendors
● Power connection will be disconnected automatically when balance is exhausted
● Discoms will provide one pc discount to people who opt for prepaid service