The Electricity Company of Ghana has begun the installation of smart prepaid meters for clients within its prepaid metering areas in the Volta Region.
About 5,000 units of smart meters have already been installed in the Ho and Hohoe Municipalities.
The smart prepaid meters are compliant with the new Meter Management System (MMS) which allows customers to purchase prepaid credit online, without visiting vending points.
The system also allows the company to monitor the meters remotely, and identify any interference or illegality when the meters are tampered with.
The Volta Regional Communications Officer of ECG, Benjamin Antwi, explained that the initiative is in line with the power distribution company’s objective of providing quality services to its customers.
“As a company, we want to make Volta Region, a hub of excellent customer service and we believe providing convenience for our customers will help us achieve this vision.
Power supply in the Volta Region has improved significantly and introducing these smart meters in the Region will further ensure that our customers are satisfied with our services”, he said.
He added that a Customer Interface Unit has been attached to the meter to allow customers to access information on energy purchased and consumed from the comfort of their homes.
Other devices added to the meter include; a user manual, a USB cord to charge the Customer Interface Unit and a battery to power the Interface Unit.
“After the meter is installed for the customer, the customer can decide to purchase prepaid credit from the comfort of his or her premises or visit the ECG Office. When going to the ECG Office to purchase credit, the customer can decide to go with the Customer Interface Unit or without it since the important information needed to purchase credit is the meter number.
After purchasing the credit, the smart meter is remotely recharged before the customer leaves the premises. In the event that the meter fails to recharge remotely due to network error, a token is generated for the customer. The customer will key in the 20-digit token number on the Customer Interface Unit and the smart meter will be recharged”, he explained.
Mr. Antwi bemoaned how illegal connections by some customers affect the revenue generated by the company, and prevents it from undertaking projects that will inure to the benefit of customers.
He warned customers against perpetuating any illegality by tampering with the smart meter, adding that the metering device has a feature to detect any illegal connection.
“The meter records every activity and we can see it from our office, including tampering with the meter. When you try tampering with the meter, the meter will go off and you cannot buy credit to recharge your meter until you come to our office. When apprehended, you will be surcharged”, he warned.
Mr. Antwi concluded by calling on the public to act as whistleblowers – to help ECG curb illegal connections – by reporting people who would engage in any illegality at any ECG office or call the national task force via 0551444011.
“There is a 6% commission of any amount we recoup as an incentive for anyone who gives us reliable information to unearth any illegality”, he added.
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