Utility Spot Meter Reading And Billing
In view of Power Sector reform in state UPPCL has been structured in to 5 Distribution corporations, a state owned company with distinct business functions like Generation of Power, Transmission and Distribution.
The consumer billing and revenue realization is the core function of the distribution entities. To improve the commercial activities and improve the revenue and to meet the emerging functional requirement of DISCOM and timely and accurate reporting required by the various regulatory authorities, these companies are looking for outsourcing the services required to improve their function. The billing system of the respective DISCOMS has been computerized for more than 20 years following different methodology. But after the operation of over long period, it has been experienced that Meter reading and delivery of the bill to the consumer needs two time visit to a consumer premise. This requires lot of time and manpower too. Then in next phase it was expected that the consumer can get the bill by way of intimating the meter reading at the counter and make the payment then and there only. The turnout of the consumer and the assessment was very poor. Now with the advent of small computing devices, the meter reader goes to the consumer and takes the reading and deliver the bill to the consumer and collects the payment in the form of cheque on the spot. This process is called spot billing or some time billing by Hand Held Computers. Again to improve the billing and energy accounting this system can be carried out in following steps:-
- GIS Mapping, Identification of existing Electrical Distribution System Network and transferring the same on GIS map.
- Coding of each element of the Distribution System
- Linking of each consumer premise marked on map to the Distribution System
- Carrying out Meter Inspection Survey (MIS) and classify the consumer in different categories.
- Transferring and linking of current database with the new coding system
- Spot billing with hand held machine
- Operation of the collection centers for the consumers who are not making the payment by cheque at the time of billing.
- Generation of various control reports on periodic basis or as and when desired
The concept of spot billing was originated with concept of door to door meter reading and bill generation. The process can be divided in two phases as follows:-
one time activities
Surveyed and unsurveyed utility consumers shall be made available to start the process.
The GIS Mapping of consumers, routes preparation and consumer indexing shall carried out to identify the consumers to be covered for billing purpose. This requires a logical coding of consumers and linking of the index to consumer record.
The data obtained in one time activity shall be maintained on the system/server . From these data shall be uploaded by the billing agent to the HHC machine for billing of consumers. The billing agent shall take meter reading, generate bill give it to consumer at consumers destination and if the consumer makes the payment through cheque the billing agent shall receive the cheque, provide receipt to the consumers, and shall deposit the cheque in the Bank Account of the designated divisions and reconciliation of bank account. Delivery of bills cum disconnection notice so generated to consumers.
Data of whole day billing and collection activity shall be uploaded to billing server for collection centers for uploading the bills and payments at the end of the day.
- Repainting of Electrical address (Survey) on poles and premises as and when required (after GIS route mapping and consumer indexing data is handed over to billing agent).
- All new connection will be surveyed before the start of next month billing.
- At the time of taking reading or generating bill through HHC Agency will also report the condition of Energy Meter whether it is properly placed, in running or defective condition and maximum load utilized in the month.
- Disconnection of defaulter Consumers: Transformer wise list of defaulting consumer will be provided by the divisions or will be for generated by billing Agency for serving prior disconnection notice to consumer and follow up with disconnection in case of non payment.
- Monitoring of disconnected consumers and submission of report to respective sub divisions /substation within 24 hours of disconnection. Energy Accounting shall have to be done 33KV sub-station wise.