Hyderabad: The installation of prepaid electricity meters is very slow. Only about one per cent of the state’s electricity connections have been converted to prepaid meters, and these are running on an experimental basis.
About 11,000 prepaid meters have been installed in government offices, including some state-run schools in the city limits. The final tariff for the billing of prepaid meters has not been finalised.
When contacted, an electricity department official said that a meeting would be held soon to discuss issues with regard to prepaid meters, and decisions taken. He said some offices were using both conventional and prepaid meters to assess their performance and to compare the money charged from customers.
The delay in installing prepaid meters is being criticized by the electricity department workers unions.
They alleged that officials were dilly-dallying over the matter and were not speeding up the process. Prepaid meters would benefit consumers, they said.
Prepaid meters work like prepaid phones in that the user can recharge for electricity depending on his or her requirement. This would avoid excess billing or transfer to the higher slab of electricity, or disconnection in the event of failure to pay bills.
The use of prepaid meters is being recommended by the ministry of power to reduce unwanted consumption and conserve energy.
Once all issues with the prepaid meters are ironed out, an official said, the meter would calculate the electricity consumption for every hour and calculate the tariff. The information would be updated locally for the customer to keep track of electricity usage.