Karachi, Pakistan — (METERING.COM) — July 13, 2007 – Electricity customers in Karachi, the largest city in Pakistan, are voicing their concerns about inordinately high power bills since new meters were installed by the Karachi Electric Supply Corporation. Some customers’ bills have increased threefold since the old meters were replaced.
While the utility insists that the new meters are accurate, and were indeed made necessary because the performance of old meters had not been up to standard, customers are not convinced. The high electricity bills with which they are now faced are only one part of the problem – the fact that there was no consultation with the communities involved before the new meters were installed has been highlighted as a concern too, as have safety issues with the new meters. Meanwhile security of supply issues have not been addressed, and customers are subject to regular load-shedding on the part of the utility.
KESC says that technical and non-technical losses are in the region of 40 per cent, which makes it very difficult to fund upgrades to the existing infrastructure. The new meters will ensure that customers are charged for the power they actually consumed, and thus improve the utility’s cash flow.
Deployment of the new meters began some two months ago, but much work remains to be done to convince customers that the new meters are both accurate and safe.