We are increasingly witnessing a trend where more and more power distribution companies are opting to put their customers in the electricity supply programs. These are usually run through prepaid electricity meters, where users buy vouchers worth given amounts of money which, when keyed into the prepaid meters, afford them given numbers of electricity units. You know how much of a trend this is when you consider the number of electricity meters that are being purchased on a daily basis. A look at the number of companies that are emerging, with the manufacture and distribution of such prepaid electricity meters as their core business confirms the extent to which the meters are in demand. Of course, most of these meters are not purchased by individuals, but rather by electricity distribution companies, which proceed to sell and install them for their customers. It is beyond the powers of the individual electricity user to decide that they want to switch to the prepaid electricity distribution system. Rather, it is the electricity company which makes such an option available to its customers.
All that, then, brings us to the question as to why more of the power distribution companies are opting for such prepaid electricity meter over the traditional postpaid electricity meters which served them so well for many years. And as it turns out, a number of factors can be seen as being behind the situation where more and more of the power distribution companies are opting for these prepaid electricity meters.
First is the fact that it is generally more convenient to run a electricity billing system than it is to run a postpaid electricity billing system. In fact, in terms of convenience, when you come to think of it, the two systems are simply incomparable. The postpaid system more often than not involves manual meter reading, followed by bill calculation from the meter readings (which is usually a very involving exercise), which is in turn followed by the sending of the bills to the electricity users, and the collection of payments from the users. One can’t even start to compare the two systems in terms of convenience to run; hence the open partiality that the power distribution companies are showing to the prepaid system.
There are also the cost considerations, which strongly suggest that the electricity distribution system is much cheaper to run, on the whole, than the postpaid system. Here, we are looking at a system which does not make use of meter readers, rates collectors or – as is often necessary – attorneys to pursue legal action against defaulters.
Then there is the fact that the electricity users seem to have a preference for the electricity systems. This preference is informed by, among others, the fact that the prepaid electricity system gives them more control over their electricity system and it is, on the whole, more convenient than the traditional postpaid system. So even the electricity companies which may not particularly like the prepaid meters still find themselves having to work out a prepaid electricity system, due to customer demand.