Power consumers can soon opt to get text (SMS) messages over the mobile phones on their bi-monthly power consumption charges and the due date for payment.

Tangedco is working on a proposal to introduce the system and is said to be in talks with mobile phone service providers on finalising the modalities for introduction of free service across the State.

In Tiruchi region, the Tangedco has started collecting mobile phone numbers and the 10-digit service numbers of consumers at its section offices. “We are in the process of collecting and compiling the phone numbers and service numbers of consumers so that they can receive the messages as and when the facility is launched,” said R. Kumaresan, Chief Engineer (Distribution), Tangedco, Tiruchi region. Consumers can register their numbers at the respective section office to avail the service.

Tangedco has planned to launch a publicity campaign to encourage consumers to use alternative modes of bill payment, especially online payments through the Tangedco website www.tnebnet.org

Although the online payment facility was introduced long ago, not many consumers were using it apparently due to lack of awareness or needless apprehensions.

In Tiruchi region, just about 17 per cent of 32 lakh consumers in the eight central districts are opting to pay their bi-monthly bills online. All landlines in Tangedco offices and mobile phones of its officers will play out recorded messages as a welcome note telling how consumers can pay their bills online from the comfort of their homes and without having to wait in queue.

The message in vernacular will ask consumers to visit the Tangedco’s online payment portal. This apart, pamphlets detailing alternative payment options will be put up at the offices of Tangedco.

Tangedco is currently engaged in replacing all conventional meters with electronic metres and under phase I electronic meters are being installed for consumers in 14 major municipal towns in the region, including Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, and Thuraiyur.