The power division plans to install 8.8 million (88 lakh) more smart prepaid power meters across the country to ensure hassle-free service to consumer.
“Process is underway to install 88 lakh more smart prepaid meters through various projects taken by power distribution companies,” Director (Sustainable Energy) of Power Cell Md Abdur Rouf Miah told BSS on Sunday.
The power distribution companies have so far completed the installation of some 38,71,124 smart prepaid meters till January 31, 2021, he said.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said, “The government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has relentlessly been working to bring all citizens under power coverage as the generation capacity now reached 24,421 MW.”
He said the entire power consumers will be brought under a smart prepaid metering system, which would also help reducing system losses, pilferage of power and meter tampering.
“Once the smart prepaid meters are installation completed, consumers will not need to go to vending stations, rather, they will be able to recharge their cards using their own means from home or abroad to continue to get electricity service,” Nasrul Hamid said.
Talking to BSS, Imran Hasan Majumder, a resident of East Shewrapara in the city and also a consumer of DESCO, said that the prepaid smart meter has brought respite to his electricity bill payment over the last one year.
Imran said he can top up the bill anytime by using different mobile financial services. He, however, opined to lower various charges on the monthly bill.
According to the official statistics, distribution companies installed 38,71,124 single and three-phase smart prepaid meters till January 31, 2021. Of these meters, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) set up 13,19,350 smart prepaid meters, including 12,89,920 single phase and 29,430 three-phase.
Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) installed 11,10,568 meters including 10,96,968 single phase and 13,600 three phase smart prepaid meters. Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) set up 5,20,844 including 4,71,426 single phase and 49,418 three phase.
Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (DESCO) installed 5,55,225 smart prepaid meters, of which 5,04,443 single phase and 50,782 three-phase meters, while West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited (WZPDCL) set up 3,51,698 meter smart prepaid meters including 3,42,844 single phase and 8,854 three-phase and Northern Electric Supply Company Limited (NESCO) installed 13,439 smart prepaid meters including 13,053 single phase and 386 three-phase.
The official statistics said the distribution companies will set up 22, 26,600 smart prepaid meters in the financial year 2020-2021, while over 37,11,463 meter smart prepaid meters were installed till the last year.
The BPDB will set up all 32,52,338 smart prepaid meters while BREB 3,00,00,000, DPDC 14,00,017, DESCO 10,23,450, WZPDCL 12,77,346 and NESCO 16,10,587 across the country in phases.
Talking to BSS, Director General of Power Cell Engineer Mohammad Hossain said after bringing all consumers under the smart prepaid metering system, there will not be any anomaly in the electricity billing process.
He said six distribution companies will bring a total of 3,86,28,851 power consumers under a smart prepaid metering system within 2023.
“Number of power consumers has also been increasing every day as new connections were made daily. The target to ensure reliable electricity for all by 2021 through integrated development of power generation, transmission and distribution system and access to quality electricity in a cost-effective and affordable manner,” he said.