The Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (EPDCL), known for its experiments in reaching out to consumers through hi-tech methods, is contemplating introducing camera-based spot billing (CSB) method which is popular in Mumbai.
During a recent review meeting with AP Genco officials, the EPDCL CMD and directors proposed the CSB method and there was a discussion on the Brihan Mumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking's CSB system through which pilferage, misdeeds, wrong entry and other regularities can be prevented. Under the BEST's CSB, the private agency to which spot billing work was given, has to take a photo of the meter and preserve it in a camera and the same could be downloaded at the nearest Electricity Divisional Office or Assistant Engineer's office the same day. Internet can be used to download and process the data collected through spot billing.
However, one of the director of EPDCL felt that the CSB method was the latest one and the experiments in BEST proved that it was hassle-free.
At present, the EPDCL is using Infrared port in most of its circles. Under the Rajahmundry circle, the entire East Godavari district is covered by including Rajahmundry, Amalapuram, Kakinada, Ramachandrapuram and Jaggampeta divisions in it. The IR Port has been introduced recently and installation of new meters has also been started in consumer's house. The Elymer Company's Watt-hour meter with tamper-proof laser marked seals and Infrared port is used for spot billing in EPDCL circles in north Andhra region.
Under this system, a remote is given to billing agency in each area that covers and Elymer meter will be scanned with remote and the same remote will be connected to spot billing machine. The consumption of the customer will appear in the remote reader and the same will be stored and print out will be given to consumers. “Changing 12.50 lakh meters in Rajahmundry circle and a large number in other circles (districts) is not only expensive and but also a difficult task. So the management has to think twice on the present billing system,” says N. Samuel, ADE and leader of Electricity Employees' Union.