Prepaid meters could be the solution to the problem of consumers receiving inflated electricity bills, said State Minister of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid on Wednesday.
He made the remark while addressing the opening ceremony of Bangladesh Power Management Institute's (BPMI) 2nd Foundation Training course as the chief guest.
Household consumers of six distribution companies across the country recently raised allegations of receiving electricity bills two to three times in excess for the months of April and May, compared to the bills they received for January and February.
After forming a probe committee in response to the allegations, the Power Division found evidence of 62,096 consumers receiving electricity bills in excess.
Pointing out the slow pace of the prepaid and smart meter project, Nasrul Hamid said, "We started the project a few years back, but could not even cover 50 percent of the consumers. We would not have faced this problem if we had installed smart (prepaid) meters."
Around 57 engineers from the Dhaka Electric Supply Company (DESCO) are participating in the 50-day training course of the BPMI.
Urging the young engineers to ensure the best customer service, Nasrul Hamid said, "Job in the power distribution companies such as DESCO is a service-oriented business, where customer service is a large part of the work.
"You have to learn how to offer the best customer service from this training."
Dr Ahmad Kaikaus, principal secretary to the Prime Minister's Office, spoke as the special guest at the opening ceremony.
"All services go through a particular (training) structure, but it was initially not there in the Bangladesh Power Development Board. However, the BPMI has started the practice a few years ago, and it has to be continued," Dr Kaikaus said.
Among others, Power Division Secretary Dr Sultan Ahmed, BPMI's Project Director Mahbub-ul-Alam, Additional Secretary of Power Division Maksuda Khatun and Managing Director of DESCO Md Kausar Ameer Ali spoke at the programme.