Islamabad - The Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) will start installing smart meters in next three months to help ensure correct meter readings and address over-billing issue.

Talking to APP on Sunday, IESCO Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Malik

Muhammad Yousaf Awan said PC-1 of the project was in final stage and the project would be implemented in next three years with the financial assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB).

He said that the project was initially being started in IESCO and Lahore Electric Supply Company (LESCO) at the cost of Rs 18 billion.

The CEO said that the meters would be installed at houses, transformers and grid stations. He said that it would help address over-billing and wrong meter reading complaints.

He said that it would also help the company to take correct meter readings at any point and there would be no need of meter readers.

Malik Yousaf said the smart meters would also give load management and sanction load to the consumers.

Replying to a question, he said three new grid stations were set up at

Chakri, Sangjani and Bahar Kahu with financial assistance of ADB.

Some grids 66 KV and 33 KV were also upgraded to 132 KV to address low voltage issue.

Regarding bill recovery, the CEO said that the IESCO recovery remained 102 per cent from private consumers and additional Rs.3 billion was recovered from the defaulters.

He said that sufficient transformers of 100 KV and 200 KV were in stock and order for more transformers were placed for procurement.

An amount of Rs.300-400 million was spent every year on replacement and repair of old and damage transformers, he added.

Yousaf Awan said that IESCO would also launch Customers Relationship

Management (CRM) service shortly to address consumers’ complaints.   

He said that now the consumers complaints would be able to register their complaints regarding over-billing, load-shedding etc through SMS.

He said that initially this service was being launched in Islamabad and Rawalpindi and gradually the facility would be extended to all five circles of the company.

The CEO said the consumers were requested to provide their cell numbers and computerized national identity card (CNIC) numbers already printed on their monthly bills.

He said that this service would help address the consumers various complaints promptly.

The CEO said that currently, the IESCO has 23 million consumers including 18 million domestic consumers.

He said that all out efforts were being made to facilitate the consumers at their doorsteps and the SMS service would be another milestone to ensure speedy redressed of the consumers complaints.

To a question, he said that bills would also be sent through SMS in future.

He said latest mobile phones were also provided to all meter readers and this month bills have also picture of meters reading.

To another question, Malik Yousaf said that there was no shortage of electricity meters and around 40,000 meters have already been received against order placed for procurement of 150,000 meters. He said the company gave around 150,000 new connections every year adding that around 44,681 new connections were given last seven months of the current fiscal year.

Regarding power load shedding, the CEO said that 6-8 hour power load-shedding was being carried out in urban and rural areas respectively while zero hour load-shedding was being carried out in industrial area as per the directives of the government.

He said the IESCO has no system constraints like other power distribution companies. “If power is supplied as per the demand, there will be no load-shedding in the IESCO region,” he said. The CEO said that around three million energy savour bulbs were freely distributed among the consumers of the company.

He said the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has also ranked IESCO first in performance in its annual evaluation report.

The ranking has been determined considering different performance parameters comprising transmission and distribution losses, recovery, time-frame for new connection, average duration of load-shedding, complaints, safety and fault rate, etc.

He said the IESCO mobile team also visited areas to facilitate customers in correction of bills, deduction of paid arrears and provision of duplicate bills, etc.

It is pertinent to mention here that the performance evaluation report is based on the achievements of power distribution companies (DISCOs) and is aimed at bringing about reforms in the energy sector.