Albanian energy customers ask for meters

Tirana, Albania — (METERING.COM) — May 2, 2007 – In 2004 Albania’s regulatory energy agency, the ERE, instructed monopoly utility KESH to install meters in all customers’ homes by the end of that year – but many are still without a metered supply, and are voicing increased dissatisfaction.

KESH is state-owned, and has been struggling to keep up with the demand for energy since economic growth in the former communist country resulted in more and more people wanting access to power. Since the 1990s the number of people connected the grid has soared, but very few of them are billed for the power they actually use. KESH has been billing on a flat rate system, but the regulator has found that the utility has been sending out bills for more than the legislated amount of electricity that it could charge customers without meters.

KESH in turn cites unpaid bills and rampant power theft as problems with which it has to contend – it is estimated that theft of power amounts to 18 per cent of that supplied by the grid. Customers, on the other hand, say that the overcharging by the utility is done to recover lost revenues.

KESH has recently put out an international tender for new meters.