Smart prepaid meters: EEDC embarks on sensitisation programme

AS part of its effort to educate and enlighten customers on the smart prepaid meters currently being deployed to its customers across the Southeast District, the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) has begun customer sensitisation in the zone.

Speaking to reporters in Enugu on Monday, the Head of Communication, EEDC, Chukwuemeka Ezeh said the programme “is aimed at clearing the air of some unfounded insinuations bothering on the integrity and performance of the meters being made by some individuals and groups; and also educating the customers on the functionality of the meters, as well as processes of acquiring and recharging the meters.”

According to him, the engagement, which recently held in Enugu and Abakaliki respectively had in attendance customers of EEDC, including those whose meters have been installed, representatives of various professional bodies and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC).

Eze noted, “From EEDC were Simon Bolaji, Head, Revenue Cycle Services; Ijeoma Ogudebe, Manager, Customer Service and Engr Christopher Chukwu, Meter Engineer.

A presentation and live demonstration of the metering process, integrity of the meter, meter tampering, meter acquisition processes.

He said that tips on energy management and process of online recharge of the meter were delivered by Engr Christopher Chukwu.

The highpoint of the event was the demonstration on the integrity of the meters, where the meters were displayed and used to record the energy consumption of three different bulbs under 30 minutes and they recorded a particular consumption.

He explained that the meters were not programmed to run fast, as is being peddled around town, rather he encouraged customers to imbibe the culture of energy management, always switch off appliances when not in use and always go for energy saving appliances.

“Meters are subjected to various regulatory checks and certification by respective government agencies like NEMSA before they get to us. EEDC does not and will not manipulate the functionality of their meters.

“These are smart meters, manufactured abroad and we do not have the intelligence, technology know-how to manipulate them as that may lead to damage of the meters.

It should be noted that EEDC is committed to metering its customers and closing the inherited metering gap. We have gone far in metering our Maximum Demand customers and currently metering our Individual/Residential customers.

“EEDC has invested over N10biliion on its metering project, and cannot afford to engage in practices that would jeopardise this effort.”

The customer sensitisation exercise, he said, would continue next week across the remaining parts of EEDC’s franchise area.