ISLAMABAD   -   NEPRA has directed all distribution companies (Discos) to stop charging cost for meter to the consumers for meter replacements. NEPRA spokesman said that it came to the attention of NEPRA that distribution companies have been charging cost for replacement of meter to the consumers for defective meters, and specifically for meter display errors. In pursuance of Clause 4.4 of the Consumer Service Manual, the consumer is not liable for any discrepancy or fault in metering equipment that is not attributable to any act or omission of the consumer.

Accordingly, NEPRA has directed all distribution companies to forthwith cease the practice of charging cost for replacement of meter to the consumers for meter replacements, specifically on account of meter display errors, where the discrepancy or fault is not attributable to any act or omission of the consumer, the spokesman said. The consumers of Discos have complained against the electricity companies for charging them the fee for replacement of faulty meters.

Meanwhile, Power Division on Friday directed all power distribution companies (DISCOs) to establish one window for interested net-metering electricity consumers. The instructions were issued on Friday during one point agenda on net-metering meeting of Central Power Purchasing Agency (CPPA), said a press release. Power Division issued special instructions to all power distribution companies (DISCOs) for promoting and further easing installation of net-metering in order to provide opportunity to all electricity consumers to curtail their monthly electricity bills besides optimal utilization of solar potential of the country. The appointment of focal persons will in this regard be ensured besides their active engagement on targets assigned by the Power Division. Each officer at operational level will be assigned targets of net-metering which will be properly monitored. These targets and their results will count for greater points during their assessment for promotion and other benefits.

All the DISCOs are further directed to ensure proper briefing of consumers during open courts (katcheris) by the respective Superintending Engineers, XEN and SDOs. All the DISCOs will also run a comprehensive awareness campaign for educating the consumers regarding benefits of net-metering. The meeting while emphasizing the importance of net-metering in order to tap the solar energy potential of the country, also underscored the need to extend all out facilitation to the consumers by the DISCOs. It was noted that although the rules and regulation for net-metering are adequate however the practical steps taken by DISCOs are not enough to promote it in order to fully and optimally utilize the potential. It was further directed to  strictly  monitor all targets in this regard.

Earlier, the meeting was informed that a total of around 900MW solar panels have been imported in the country. There are 1190 electricity consumers with a cumulative capacity of 26MW who have installed net-metering so far.