Samuel Hinds,
Guyana Prime
Minister
 
Georgetown, Guyana — (METERING.COM) — April 15, 2009 – Guyana Power & Light (GPL) expects over the next eight years to replace all existing meters serving domestic and small businesses with prepay meters, the country’s prime minister Samuel Hinds said in parliament.

Responding to questions from parliamentarian Winston Murray on what criteria would be used for the distribution of prepay meters and whether consultations would be undertaken before deductions are made against outstanding balances, Hinds said the exercise will be phased and will require supporting infrastructure, including vendors with a DSL internet connection and the capability of GPL to provide support services to both vendors and consumers.

Hinds said the first prepay meters will be provided to consumers living in areas where meter reading is difficult and where there is a high frequency of estimations resulting in consumer dissatisfaction. Then they will be progressed to apartments where outstanding bills are left, to areas where GPL has difficulty effecting disconnections, to areas with elevated levels of electricity theft, on request from consumers, and to consumers whose cash flow makes paying a monthly bill difficult.

Hinds also said that GPL will notify consumers of the period over which outstanding balances will be paid, as the company is aiming to clearing all outstanding payments.

GPL is also committed to a public education program, recognizing that it is a prerequisite to the introduction of the prepay service.

The move to prepay meters is somewhat akin to the very wide use of prepaid cell phones, added Hinds.