Why More Power Distribution Companies Are Opting For Prepaid Electricity Meters

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.

Making Homemade Electricity – A Task We Should All Learn to Do

All of us are users of electricity, consummate users in fact. We use electricity for all sorts of things, from small devices like our iPods to huge power-guzzlers like our water heaters. Electricity is simply part of our modern life. However, despite the fact that electricity is a huge part of our lives, it is highly likely that few of us have ever thought of producing our very own homemade electricity. When you think about it, the process is actually very simple.

Just like heat and light, electricity is a form of energy. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find natural sources of electricity, and what sources we have produce only very little. But we can rely on a basic law of physics when it comes to generating electricity, and that is the fact that one form of energy can be converted into another form. Therefore, you can create electricity using other forms of energy, and it is this concept that we will explore when we produce electricity from home.

Solar Energy Systems

There are a lot of ways by which you can use the concept of transforming one form of energy into another, particularly into electricity. Solar panels are among the most common methods. The photovoltaic cells in solar panels are activated by sunlight, and when they are activated, they convert the sunlight they get into electricity.

The challenge here is that photovoltaic cells are limited in the amount of electricity that they can produce from the sunlight they receive. This is why it is important that these cells are connected in a parallel or series formation so that they can generate the amount of electricity needed. In addition, solar panels require huge investment costs and have a low efficiency rating. If you want to make your homemade electricity with solar panels, you need to be prepared to shell out a lot of money.

Wind Generators

Solar energy is not the only natural source of electricity. It is also possible to create energy from home with a wind generator. A typical wind generator will have a motor or dynamo that is linked to a turbine. When the wind pushes onto the blades of the turbine, the resulting mechanical force on the turbine produces electricity.

Wind generators have an advantage over solar panels in that they have a higher efficiency rating. However, the electricity they produce is hugely dependent on the wind they receive, so they have to be installed at a location where they will get hit by the wind the most.

Addressing the Challenge

Both solar energy systems and wind generators are outstanding ways to create homemade electricity. However, as mentioned above, they are entirely reliant on their natural sources, and they will not work if sunlight and wind are not present. The energy they produce will have to be stored in a battery.

When you work with batteries, though, you have to be absolutely carefully. This especially applies when the batteries have a high mAh rating. These batteries can kill you when you do not handle them properly. Thus, you should not try to deal with short-circuiting batteries or recharging them when they are non-rechargeable.

You can produce your very own homemade electricity. You just need to be patient and do your research before you attempt it. Soon enough you will be able to find the best method for replenishing the electricity you use for your gadgets and appliances using renewable sources. Be careful when you handle homemade electricity, though. Your life will depend on the safety measures you observe.

Common Problems With Electrical Outlets

If your home is like most, you probably have numerous electrical outlets. Although most times you can simply use these outlets without giving them a second thought, sometimes problems do occur. If you are noticing any problems with one or more outlets in your home, you should immediately evaluate and remedy the problem. If left unattended to, an annoyingly problematic electrical outlet could quickly turn into a serious safety hazard. To avoid personal injuries or fires, calling an electrician at the first sign of outlet problems is usually the best course of action. Here are some common electrical outlet problems that you might be experiencing.

Overloaded Circuits and Outlets

Overloading is often the culprit behind many electrical outlet problems. Although it can be tempting to plug too many appliances or electronic devices into one outlet, it is a practice that should definitely be avoided. If you are using a power strip or an extension box to increase the number of items you can plug into a single outlet, you might be unintentionally setting yourself up for problems. By utilizing power strips and extension boxes, it often becomes possible to plug six or more devices into an outlet that was only designed for two. In some cases, you might simply blow a fuse or trip a breaker switch as a result of overloading the outlet. However, in other cases an electrical fire could be the end result.

Crisscrossed Wiring

Just because your outlet generally works does not mean there are not problems with faulty wiring or a faulty electrical outlet installation. In some cases, even if the wiring has been improperly installed, the outlet will still function acceptably most of the time. If you are experiencing sporadic problems with equipment and appliances plugged into a specific outlet, it might be a symptom of crisscrossed wiring. Sometimes when outlets are installed, mistakes are made. In the case of crisscrossed wiring, the outlet may have been installed with the “hot” and “neutral” wires reversed on the terminal screws. Although appliances and equipment often still work when this situation exists, it can be quite dangerous. Crisscrossed wiring could cause damage to your electrical equipment, due to the reversed polarity. This wiring problem will also generally interfere with the grounding of an outlet, which can also cause damage. If this issue is discovered, the wiring should be fixed immediately to avoid potential problems.

Improper Outdoor Electrical Outlets

Improper outdoor electrical outlets are actually quite common, especially in older homes. Although modern electrical codes require the use of Ground Fault Circuit Interrupt receptacles, often referred to as simply GFCIs, it was common in the past to install standard outlets outdoors. This can cause a very dangerous situation, since moisture is quite common in most outdoor environments. If you accidentally touch an outdoor outlet when it is wet, the fact that it is a GFCI could just save your life. Have all outdoor electrical outlets inspected periodically as a safety precaution, even if they are GFCI outlets, to ensure that water or moisture is not leaking into them.