Consumers fault prepaid meter, seek return to analogue system

KEDCO targets 24,000 customers monthly for metering
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Electricity consumers in Port Harcourt have expressed regrets over the introduction of the prepaid meter system and called on the Port Harcourt Electricity and Distribution Company (PHEDC) to improve on the system or return them to analogue system.

Some users who bared their minds on the issue accused PHEDC of short-changing people in terms of power consumption.

While some consumers advocated for a return to analogue metre system, many others urged PHEDC to educate consumers on how to minimize the cost of electricity.

According to them, the consumption rate of energy has been very outrageous since the advent of the prepaid meter system.

They pointed out that N3,000 worth of energy that was sufficient for a month before the advent of prepaid meters could barely last for three weeks now.

A business centre operator at Olu Obasanjo Road, who pleaded anonymity, said that the introduction of the prepaid meter system by the electricity company was not business friendly.

According to the lady, no amount of purchased unit has exceeded three weeks which the company in turn blame on rate of usage.

She said that the most painful aspect was the company’s regular checking of the meter on daily basis without any noticeable change.

Another electricity consumer at Rukpokwu axis, who gave her name as Ada Chioma, described the prepaid meter system as a mirage that disappears momentarily.

Chioma recalled that she was paying N3,000 as electricity bill for one month when the regular meter system was in use, saying the same amount can no longer serve her family for two weeks since the introduction of the prepaid meter system.

Another respondent, Mr Ken Wobo, alleged that the new system was only introduced for the benefit of PHEDC and urged the company to make the necessary adjustments if it is prepared to serve the interest of its customers.

He chastised the company over what he called ‘broad day robbery system’, and threatened to sponsor protest against the company if the issue is not urgently addressed.

All efforts to reach the Head, Corporate Communications PHEDC, Madam Chioma, proved abortive, as her phone line indicated ‘switched off’ as at the time of filling this report.