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Prepaid meter for all in Nagaland

prepaid meters

Power Dept allays fear of ‘higher bills’

DIMAPUR, JUNE 2: Nagaland Power Department has informed that all categories of electricity consumers in the State will be mandatorily fitted with pre-paid energy meter to plug distribution losses as well as to improve service.
The installation of pre-paid meters is in line with the policy of Government of India to reform the distribution sector through the introduction of Smart metering system, whereby human errors are reduced in the entire energy billing and accounting system, said Er Moa Aier, Chief Engineer (D&R), Department of Power in a press release.

The Power Department had installed about 1,100 pre-paid meters as a pilot scheme in Marwari Patti area Dimapur during 2013-14, which is functioning successfully. This is now being extended to more areas within Kohima and Dimapur since October 2020. As a first phase, 10,000 are being installed in Dimapur and another 9,000 in Kohima.
However, Er Moa Aier said there is still some reluctance or apprehension from some consumers in Dimapur on the installation of pre-paid energy meters despite the Department holding consultations and meetings with various colony/ward authorities and public to explain the process of installing pre-paid meters in Kohima and Dimapur.
Allaying apprehension of consumers that the pre-paid energy meter will result in “higher bills”, he assured that tariff of pre-paid meter is lesser than the post paid meter consumers.
“The tariff of pre-paid consumer is lesser than the post-paid meter consumers. Apprehensions of “higher bills” are unfounded. However, if internal wirings are defective and there are leakages, it will show as consumption. Therefore, it will be in the interest and safety of the consumer to check and rectify their internal wirings, as it may be a fire hazard or cause damage to electrical equipment in the building.”
The release stated that pre-paid energy meter shall also solve inaccurate billings and the resultant complications. The billing will be accurate and commensurate with the actual consumption, it said, adding it will enable consumer to know their actual consumption pattern thereby enabling them to control their usage of electricity in a responsible manner as responsible citizens.
In future, two-part tariff (dynamic pricing) may be introduced, enabling consumers to chose their time of consumption of electricity in different times of the day, thereby economizing their consumption, by consuming during low tariff hours and minimizing consumption during high tariff hours, he informed.
Er Moa maintained that with proper billing and collection, the financial health of the power sector can be improved, and this will lead to condition of power supply being improved and become more stable as capacity addition and maintenance can be supported.
Increase in electricity tariff can be controlled, which will directly benefit the consumers, he claimed.
He also informed that recharging of pre-paid meters is done at certain re-charge locations, but assured that online recharging from the comfort of one’s homes shall be soon introduced.
Informing that some consumers are apprehensive as to why only their areas/colony are fitted with pre-paid meters, he clarified that all consumers shall be mandatorily fitted with pre-paid meters for all categories of consumers.
“Installation of pre-paid meters is thus with two main core objectives ~ reducing losses thereby improving the financial health of the power sector, and improving services to our esteemed consumers. The objective is not to collect more from the consumers, but to plug leakages, reduce losses and achieve a more accurate measurement of actual consumption”, he said.

Towards this, Er Moa urged all responsible citizens to consider that Nagaland cannot remain stagnant as a welfare State forever inhibiting development particularly in the power sector, where infrastructure development and maintenance is directly linked with accurate and timely payment(s) of electricity bill.
The Department informed that due to the pandemic, the ongoing installation works of pre-paid meters has been suspended for the time being, but once the situation stabilizes this shall be restarted at the earliest possible time.
(Page News Service)