Persons interested in acquiring prepaid meters will soon be able to so as an adequate number of the devices are expected to be available.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the European Union (EU) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) funded Power Utility Upgrade Programme (PUUP) will cater for these prepaid meters.
The specific objectives of the programme are to improve the Guyana Power and Light’s (GPL) management and administration, system planning and design, information technology and commercial operations among others through three components, the Minister explained.
One of the components is the strengthening GPL management which will assist the company’s executives and senior management in transforming GPL.
Secondly, PUUP will seek to provide full time coaching and advisory services to GPL’s executives. This will see persons from overseas working along and shadowing management to build capacity.
Component three of the PUUP deals with the actual capital work which includes acquiring prepaid meters and upgrading the distribution systems and other facilities to improve electricity distribution. “Tenders for this are being reviewed at the moment,” the Minister said.
Prepaid and postpaid meters are not abundantly available, according to Minister Patterson as those in the system are being distributed on a first come, first served basis. “There are persons who would have applied earlier on in the year, we are addressing that at the moment,” the Minister explained.
Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson
The Minister added that those available are also used to replace damaged ones of existing customers. The damaged meters will be assessed and rehabilitated where possible for re-use. “That happens regularly so that is why it is not openly distributed, we can’t give out all the meters and then when somebody has a fault with theirs we can’t help them,” Minister Patterson said.
However, “be rest assured that those persons who applied for prepaid meters will soon receive them,” the Minister guaranteed.
PUUP was approved in 2014 and is designed to support GPL in executing fundamental infrastructure investments and in improving the organisation’s business performance with the implementation of a Corporate Development Programme (CDP), which will allow for a culture change toward an organisation able to supply energy within minimum international standards.
The use of a more advanced meter, installed to a high standard in a secure manner has delivered acceptable returns for large consumers. To this end through PUUP, GPL intends to implement a well-designed social management strategy to be the mechanism which encourages consumers to embrace the project.