In another collaboration between the United States of America and Pakistan, the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) will launch automatic meter reading (AMR) project to help power distribution companies in loss reductions and revenue enhancements. The project will be supervised under the USAID Power Distribution Programme. It will manufacture AMR meters, which will be installed starting from January next year.
According to the Chief Technical Advisor of USAID’S Power Distribution Programme, Dick Dumford:
“This project will provide highly accurate electronic meter readings with very little human intervention, using computer technology to transmit readings via GSM/GPRS and Radio Frequency and will demonstrate how the application of this technology can result in improved revenue and reduced losses and theft for the Discos.”
The main aim of this project is to bring in viable and sustainable technology that will bill customers properly. In other countries around the world, this technology is already in place, due to which customers do not make much complaints about getting wrongly billed. But here in Pakistan, it is a serious issue.
Previously, there was no such technology in place, but with this new USAID project, there will be one for the first time. The announcement for such a support from the U.S. for Pakistan’s power sector was made in 2009 by the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. The project will bring such technology as Geographical Information Systems, smart metering, hardware projects and other new equipment designed to reduce power outage frequency and duration.
Besides this, the project will also train personnel in strategic planning, management development, planning and engineering, customer information system, lineman safety, skill enhancement, business planning and financial modeling, communications and customer outreach, gender equity in training personnel.