Israeli utility trials prepayment meters


Jerusalem, Israel — (METERING.COM) — September 6, 2006 – The Israel Electric Corporation has bought 2,500 prepayment meters, and has already installed 600 of them in the homes of customers who are unable to pay their bills timeously.

In an effort to ensure that customers are not left entirely without power, the utility will provide a guaranteed credit to cover emergency situations. In addition it has promised customers that power will not be turned off during Shabbat, Jewish holidays or when its offices are not open for business, even if the emergency credit has been used up.

Customers will be alerted to the fact that their credit has fallen to a specific level, as the meters will make a beeping sound and a light will flash.

Consistent non-payers will be able to work off their debt to the IEC by using the prepayment meters – 50 percent of each electricity purchase will go to debt repayment, with the remaining 50 percent being used to buy electricity. The utility is not charging customers for the meters. Currently the IEC disconnects 500 to 600 customers a month in the Jerusalem area alone.