How does an online metering system save the electricity bill amount?


Online meter system creates a buzz around the world once again. After escalating the power bills during the pandemic period, many industries now looking for a solution to overcome the excess electricity bills. Click here to read an article about how does an online metering system save the electricity bill amount.

During the covid-19 pandemic ,we have witnessed an increase in power bill amount and large amounts of complaints were flowing into the electricity board. It is around the fact that this may have happened due to the current billing issues. If you are worried and critical about the over utilization of electricity in residences or in any businesses, then consumers do have an online monitoring system to know the consumption of power by sitting anywhere in the world.

Current billing system


The representative from the electricity utility visits each house/industry/commercial consumption points monthly/ bi-monthly and inspects the reading in the electricity meter. The consumption is recorded in units/ Kilowatt-hours. The electricity charges will depend on consumption.

Most of the regions have turned to Smart Grid Automatic Meter Reading System nowadays. The present reading will be deducted from the previous reading to calculate the exact reading. However, the calculation of charges is not direct. It will be based on the slab, which you fall in, according to the units consumed. The charges will vary depending on the increase in the consumption of electricity.

The total charge per unit will go up if your consumption is more. And the same will be comparatively less if the total consumption is less. Hence, it is not easy to state electricity charges in generic terms.
The electricity department uses spot billing procedures. The employee or representative from the department comes to the location, checks the current reading, and enters it in the spot billing machine. The bill generated will be handed over to the home or office at the same instant.

What is an online billing?


You can preclude all the above-mentioned drawbacks by using online electricity billing. The cloud-based mechanism will enable you to monitor electricity consumption and prepare billing sitting at a remote place. It does not require a dedicated employee going around houses/ metering points inspecting meters.

The meter data is read online using cellular or other last mile and backhaul networks. The exact consumption of each meter is recorded and provided once each day. Thereby, the employee can sit at the office and monitor the consumption. Making the administration, regulation, and monitoring easy. The online bill could be generated on time without errors in the data. The period, the consumption rate and bill could be mailed to the consumer without any fail.

Drawbacks of current electricity billing system


There are certain drawbacks to the current billing system. Since a person is involved in the preparation of bills, human error is the most prominent flaw of the system. Additional cons of the current billing system are enumerated in the following paragraphs.

  • A dedicated employee is required for spot billing

  • A dedicated employee or representative is required for checking the electricity reading and spot billing. He or she will have to go from house to house, for the same. The handing over of the physical bill will not be possible if the house is closed.

    The salary for the employee has to be from the total profit. Therefore, although minor, a stipulated amount will be deducted each month. That means the data collection cost incurred will reduce the total profit. In addition, the physical inspection of the meters is not advisable in the present pandemic scenario.

  • Only Bi-monthly billing is possible

  • Considering the quantum of the job entrusted on the employee, only bi-monthly billing is possible. The representative has to cover numerous houses on foot. Hence, only bimonthly billing is possible most of the time.

  • Inaccurate reading

  • Accuracy of electricity reading is at stake due to the load on the employee. Inaccurate reading will not be acceptable for the consumer. Thus resulting in arguments.

    What are the benefits of online meter reading?


  • On-time billing

  • Since the billing is automated, it could be prepared on time. There is no room for manual errors or delays in the billing process. The billing will also be free of calculation errors. However, the manual billing may necessitate double-checking to confirm it is accurate.

  • Smaller bill cycle

  • The spot billing necessitates the employee to go around generating bills. This results in delays in the billing process. Only bimonthly billing could be possible in such a scenario. Nonetheless, it is not the case with online billing. Monthly billing could be done using online billing. The organisation can plan for future developments with the monthly amount received.

  • Reduced administrative and personnel expenditure

  • The internet data charges have been reduced in the recent past. Therefore, the operational cost of online billing is comparatively less. Additionally, the administration for online billing is uncomplicated and requires only very few persons. The online billing system is budget-friendly in every aspect. Thus, saving ample costs for administration requirements.

  • Better planning

  • Each customer will have different electricity requirements. The consumption rates will also differ accordingly. Online billing has advanced options to organise consumers concerning their consumption, area, and other factors. Manual labour is not necessary for all segregation activities. Just input the necessary criteria and the system will segregate the customers based on your needs. This will be of immense help for planning.

  • Online billing improves transparency

  • Online billing will have all the statistics regarding the billing period, billed time and consumption. The data will be transparent for the consumer to cross verify. It will be available in the system forever. Therefore, the customer can check the consumption whenever he or she wants, without approaching the electricity department.

  • Enable prepaid consumption

  • One of the main challenges for distribution utilities in billing settlement to the electrical transmission companies. Distribution utilities have to receive the funding from their consumer inorder to realize the payment to the transmission companies. Using an online metering system, utilities have flexibility to make use of billing prepayment by their consumers which enables them to pay sufficient amounts to transmission utilities on time.

  • Billing from a remote place

  • Online billing can be generated from anywhere. As the billing is on the internet-based platform, the employee can sit at a remote place and create a bill.

  • Resolve customer complaints faster

  • The customer complaints and queries can be resolved faster than in manual billing. All the info regarding the bill is available online. The representative can check the data and provide the reply in a short time.

    Outlook


    Online billing is the best way to calculate electricity consumption. It eliminates all the issues faced during manual billing. The technological advancements for reducing manual labour must be utilised for ensuring transparency and improving efficiency.


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