Lahore Electric Supply Company (Lesco) is currently working to complete the installation of its “Electricity bill with a snapshot of total units consumed” project. Power consumers in Lahore and the adjoining districts could get rid of over-billing very soon and hopefully their long-standing complaint will be addressed within a month. Lesco is already sending monthly bills to consumers placing pictures of the units spent in 103 sub-divisions. This system aims to maximize the reduction of errors in billing by presenting used units clearly on the bill so there is no room for over charging.

Some internal reports of the water and power ministry maintain that all power distribution companies including Lesco are charging 35 extra days to consumers every year due to wrong cycle of meter reading and billing. Sources at Lesco confirm this to be true, but add that it is simply a human error as there is an acute shortage of staff. Having said that, mounting electricity bills are a major source of burden for the common man and any sign of improvement in the system will be welcomed by the masses.

Lesco can be given the credit of improving not only their billing system but also their line losses, which officials at Lesco claim has seen a reduction of 0.8 per cent as compared to the previous year. It had also upgraded 66 grid stations, which helped eradicate low-voltage and electricity tripping problems. 741 new transformers and 600 reclaimed have also been installed to cope with any emergency situation quite efficiently. Do we dare hope that Lesco could actually improve its performance? Time will tell. Though things are certainly looking up for the citizens of Lahore, the true test will be witnessed a month from now, when the consumers are issued their bills and there is a marked difference in the level of anxiety that they face when the bills are due.