ISLAMABAD -

United States Agency for International Development has been providing it assistance to DISCOs in Pakistan to bring it on modern Meter Reading practices. Kamalabad subdivision has become the first subdivision of Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) to adopt Hand Held Unit (HHU) devises for the meter reading.

The project was carried out with the support of USAID Power Distribution Program to cut IESCO's losses and improve revenues in Kamalabad subdivision, as entire consumers of Kamalabad subdivision received bills read by HHUs, tremendously reducing customer complaints of incorrect billing. USAID has implemented similar project in other DISCOs including MEPCO. The USAID Power Distribution Program has successfully implemented a meter-reading project at Islamabad Electric Supply Company (IESCO) to improve the meter reading practices by introducing technology.

Power Distribution Program in close consultation of IESCO management identified a low cost activity that helped to replace paper based meter reading practices with electronic meter reading such as the introduction of handheld devices for meter reading.

The project has been implemented at IESCO Kamalabad subdivision, where meter readers were provided on field training about the new meter reading techniques and devices. Kamalabad subdivision consumers received the bill for the month of May that was read by using these new devices.

The Subdivision Officer (SDO) of Kamalabad Muhammad Riaz while talking about this activity expressed his gratitude to USAID Power Distribution Program for introducing technology in meter reading practice that has helped in reducing customer complaints.

He remarked that the intervention helped his staff to work more efficiently while saving on average 2-3 hours per day of each meter reader. He envisaged that in next step if this system was implemented on Division and Circle level it would help to reduce the billing cycle.

The five-year USAID Power Distribution Program was announced by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2009 as one of the U.S. efforts to support Government of Pakistan to reform the power sector to mitigate the current energy crisis.