Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) will install 1 million more smart pre-paid electricity meters in 13 districts to cut non-technical system loss by 1 per cent and ensure full revenue collection in advance.
Chattagram, Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban, Rangamati, Khagrachhari, Cumilla, Brahmanbaria, Feni and Noakhali, Kishoreganj, Tangail, Mymensingh, and Sylhet are the districts to come under the project.
BPDB has sent a Tk 7.09 billion project proposal to “Smart Pre-Payment Metering Project in Distribution Zones of BPDB” to the Planning Commission to secure approval from the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) approval.
The move comes as part of the power division’s target to install some 8.8 million smart pre-paid meters across the country through different state-run power distribution companies.
BPDB now grapples with comparatively higher non-technical system loss, electricity bills and dues collection to cater to its 3.3 million subscribers because of the existing metering system. It also lacks the mechanism to fend off unapproved use of higher loads and meter tampering.
In view of this, it has already brought over 1.3 million subscribers of different districts under the pre-paid metering system. Once the new project is approved, it is expected to be complete by 2024.
Out of the total estimated cost of the project, Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide Tk 3.34 billion loans to it, while the government will provide Tk 1.89 billion and BPDB will bear Tk 1.86 from its own resources.
Under the scheme, 9.70 lakh single phase smart meters will be procured and installed and another 30,000 three-phase meters will be installed along with some other necessary project work.
According to the official statistics, distribution companies installed 38,71,124 single and three-phase smart prepaid meters till January 31, 2021.
Of these meters, Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) set up 13,19,350 smart prepaid meters, Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (BREB) installed 11,10,568 meters, Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) set up 5,20,844.
Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited (DESCO) installed 555,225 smart prepaid meters, West Zone Power Distribution Company Limited (WZPDCL) set up 3,51,698 meters and Northern Electric Supply Company Limited (NESCO) installed 13,439 smart prepaid meters.
The distribution companies were supposed to install 22, 26,600 smart prepaid meters in the last fiscal year against 37,11,463 smart prepaid meters installed in the previous year.
The BPDB will set up all 32,52,338 smart prepaid meters while BREB 3,00,00,000, DPDC 14,00,017, DESCO 10,23,450, WZPDCL 12,77,346 and NESCO 16,10,587 across the country in phases.
Power officials expect that after bringing all consumers under the smart prepaid metering system, there will be no anomalies in the electricity billing process.
They plan to bring 386,28,851 power consumers under a smart prepaid metering system within 2023 through six distribution companies.