Electricity distribution companies have started to implement the plan to replace the old meters which operate by the invoice system, with an electric prepaid plan.
An official at the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) told Daily News Egypt that the numbers of meters are currently 28.8m, operating by the invoice system, including 22.9m mechanical meters, and 5.9m digital meters. They will be replaced by the pre-paid meters instead.
He added that the electricity distribution companies will not install any old counters working by the bills system again. This in the hope to change all meters to an electronic and pre-paid system to collect charges in advance.
The companies install pre-paid meters for all new contracts or when a name of a consumer changes, as well as when the capacity of a meter increases, or in the case where a meter stops unpaid dues.
The ministry of electricity and renewable energy began installing 2.5m pre-paid meters in 2016. The installed meters in 2017 amounted to 4.7m, and in 2018 the number rose to 6.9m meters. It is expected to install 9.1m meters by the end of 2019.
The idea of the pre-paid electronic counter is based on charging the meter with a card-like mobile phone top-up cards. The counters work with the same current rates in the electricity prices and are shipped according to the material value that the citizen wants. This is starting at EGP 18 in order to reduce theft of electric currents and rationalise the consumption of citizens.
Moreover, the sources added that the ministry’s approach in the coming period is to increase the number of pre-paid electronic meters, and if there is a malfunction or a complaint about older meters, they shall be replaced by the distribution company and pay the value of meters and their delivery.
The sources pointed out that the implementation of the electronic meter system and prepaid card system aims primarily to provide liquidity to the ministry of electricity and renewable energy. This is to help them establish many future projects and also to allow subscribers control over consumption according to the level of income and financial capacity.