ISLAMABAD: President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF) and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Tuesday said that adoption of smart meter technology can discourage theft of electricity, gas and water.
It can contain help curtail theft, wastage, reduce loadshedding, cut operational costs and ensure profit for the loss-making utilities which will also clip circular debt, he said.
Smart meters send electronic meter readings to supplier of energy and water automatically through an in-built SIM card to settle the issue of estimated bills or over or under-paying, he added.
Speaking to business community, Mian Zahid Hussain said that smart meters could mean lower electricity and gas bills; and more efficient operations by distribution companies.
The meters will eliminate the need of meter readers, prime source of corruption, while the energy companies will have a more accurate picture of the situation. These devices could also lead to the innovative energy tariffs and plans tailored to fit lifestyle and energy usage of individuals.
The veteran business leader said that power, gas and water companies are bleeding to death due to corruption, rampant theft, unaddressed technical problems and political interference which is bringing the country down.
He said around Rs360 billion are wasted due to power theft and line losses, natural gas worth Rs 40 billion and water worth billon is stolen annually.
China, India, UK, Brazil and many other countries are curbing theft through smart metering but our country is yet to make progress in this regard due to obvious reasons, he said.
He said smart meters have helped cut water losses by half from 700 million litres per day to 350 million litres and same can be done in Karachi where industrialists pay billion to taker mafia. This will provide cheap water to consumers and help the water providers become self-sustaining.