State energy companies directed to introduce prepaid meters


Tapan Chowdhury,
Adviser for Ministry
of Power,
Dhaka, Bangladesh. — (METERING.COM) — April 16, 2007 –The government of Bangladesh has ordered the three state-owned power entities to expedite the introduction of prepaid metering.

Power and Energy Advisor Tapan Chowdhury gave the directive to the Power Development Board (PDB), Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (DESA) and the Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company in a meeting on prepaid metering at the Energy Ministry last week.

The Institute of Information and Communication Technology (IICT) of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), which developed the prepaid meters for Dhaka Electric Supply Company (DESCO), made a presentation at the meeting.

Based on the data given in the presentation, including the effectiveness of the prepaid meters in curbing electricity theft, Chowdhury directed PDB, DESA and Titas Gas to expedite their processes of installing the prepaid meters within the next three months, at least for their industrial consumers.

Chowdhury also promised government support to the meter production business of DESCO.

DESCO managing director Saleh Ahmed said that DESCO had so far installed 5,000 prepaid meters and planned to set up a manufacturing plant to commercially produce these prepaid meters with technical assistance of BUET’s IICT.

BUET professor and IICT director SM Lutful Kabir, in his presentation, commented that while the prepaid system had proved very effective in checking electricity theft, the project was struggling to retain talented staff due to the low financial rewards and he suggested introducing financial incentives to encourage them to stay in the project.