Plans to install prepaid metres to help customers keep a tab on their energy bills are in the last stage and implementation of the scheme shall being very soon, MSEDCL officials have said.
In the first phase 2.41 crore prepaid metres will be installed and the cost of the project is around Rs 26,291 crore, the officials said.
The initiative is a part of exercise to provide quality services to the MSEDCL consumers. Consumer's right to have complete control over expenditure on energy bill is a part of this 'quality service' initiative and accordingly the new smart metres will be installed over the next few months, the officers said.
After installation of these metres, the consumers will be able to track energy usage on their mobile devices. They will be regularly updated on their power usage and would be able to regulate the usage by paying requisite amount just the way prepaid mobiles are recharged. The consumers will also be able to know their balance and how much they need to pay etc. and plan their budgets accordingly, the officers added.
Though the new metres would cost around Rs 12,000, the consumers won't have to pay anything for the new metres, the officers said adding that the cost would be recovered from the Central Government grants and from the funds available with the MSEDCL.
The new metres will also reduce the incidents of disconnections and other inconveniences that the consumers used to experience earlier, the officers said. The electricity supply shall continue even though the prepaid amount is exhausted between 6 pm and 10 am. That will reduce much of the heartburn that the consumers face. Moreover, several modes to pay the power bills and recharge the metres would be made available to reduce efforts that consumers have to take to pay power bills, the officers said.
Smart meters will help address consumers’ grievances over billing as they will get round-the-clock data about consumption through a mobile app. This will also improve collection efficiency and help in reducing commercial losses, the officers added and also said that an increase in revenue will control the tariff hike.
MSEDCL caters to around 2.8 crore consumers in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan, Vasai-Virar and the rest of Maharashtra.