Remote meter reading can address issue of load shedding: IWCCI

Islamabad: The Islamabad Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry IWCCI on Sunday asked electricity and gas companies to consider adopting smart meter technology to discourage wastage, reduce load shedding and operational costs and ensure profit.

Smart meters send electronic meter readings to energy supplier automatically through an inbuilt SIM card to settle the issue of estimated bills or over or underpaying, said Farida Rashid, President IWCCI. Speaking to business community, she said that smart meters could mean lower electricity and gas bills; and more efficient operations by distribution companies.

Smart meters will eliminate the need of meter readers while the energy companies will have a more accurate picture of the situation which can help proper planning, she said. These devices could also lead to the innovative energy tariffs and plans tailored to fit lifestyle and energy usage of individuals.

Farida Rashid said that power and gas companies are bleeding to death due to corruption, rampant theft, unaddressed technical problems and political interference which is bringing the country down.

China, India, UK, Brazil and many other countries are curbing theft through smart metering but our bureaucracy fear losing share from lineman’s corruption without realizing that Pakistan cannot withstand 40 per cent electricity theft and 16v per cent gas pilferage, she said. In Mumbai, India’s most populated city with 13 million residents, smart meters have helped cut water losses by half from 700 million liters per day to 350 million litres, she informed.

Despite promises of successive governments, energy woes are strangulating the country while politicians continue to claim to overcome outages without giving an implementable plan, remarked Farida Rashid.