The contract to implement the pilot phase of the project was awarded to PEC SL for a period of six months. The initial roll out was very successful.
Some of the crooked big business houses tried to frustrate the introduction of the Smart Meter concept by refusing to accept the installation of the meters in their business premises.
During the installation of the Smart Meters in December 2015, PEC SL discovered that EDSA was losing Billions of Leones a month as a result of the existing incorrect metering installations in the premises of some big business entities including some commercial banks, fishing companies and even at some cement manufacturing companies. The billing and metering irregularities were quickly identified by PEC SL and brought to the notice of EDSA but no action was taken. Some of the top management officials at EDSA were conniving with these crooked business entities to deprive EDSA of much-needed revenue, by criminally refusing to pay the exact amount of money they were supposed to be paying to EDSA for electricity consumption.
After the installation of the Smart Meters by PEC SL, EDSA witnessed a steady growth in the collection of payments from the installed meters.
From the 286 Smart Meters that PEC SL installed in the Western Area, as a pilot project, EDSA was due to collect about Le2.3 Billion a month. This amount of money was to be collected by EDSA for only 286 Smart Meters. The PEC SL payment process made room for limited human interaction and interference with money meant for EDSA. PEC SL has the technical and managerial expertise in the Smart Metering industry and revenue collection.
A World Bank fact-finding team that arrived in Freetown in June 2016 concluded that Smart Metering is the future for revenue collection and revenue assurance on behalf of EDSA.
There is no justification for the Government to continue to subsidize the operations of EDSA. With Smart Meters, EDSA does not even need to increase tariffs. Smart Meters will produce enough money to take care of EDSA’s operations.
Nobody knows why a senior Board member at EDSA continues to sit on the Board of Leocem, one of the companies accused of failing to pay the exact amount of money for the electricity they consume on a monthly basis. That Board member must consider his position now or else, we will expose him.
We call on the Government of President Julius Maada Bio to take the bull by the horns and bring back the Smart Meters. That’s the best game in town