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Private household meter boxes permitted for YESC civil servants

The Yangon Electricity Supply Corporation (YESC) has allowed private metered electricity boxes for civil servants in particular shared households.

Yangon Region minister for Electricity, Industry and Transportation Daw Nilar Kyaw said residents can apply for a household meter with the respective township electricity manager.

“When electricity charges were raised in placeswhere residents use ashared meter box, charges cost more than the consumed unit. As such it was difficult for those residents in civil servant housing and also forthose inindustrial zones to pay the higher prices. For that reason, YESC has allowed residents to have private meter boxes installed,” she said.

In a meeting of the Yangon Region Hluttaw held on September 30, U Yan Aung, a regional parliamentary member from Constituency 2 of Mingalar Taung Nyunt, explained the reason.

“The new power tariffs put an extra burden on civil servants, as they have to all pay the same amount for the consumption despite individual usage being different,” he said.

After electricity prices were raised charges for shared meters in civil servant houses increased to K125 per unit.

After changing to household meters, civil services personnel will only need to pay K25 per unit for the household unit, which will lower their individual burden to pay the bills, U Yan Aung said.

In civilservant housing residents use power from public meters, and they pay proportionally for their use. New meter charges, however, were set on July 1, 2019.

As the power rates surged millions of users in the Yangon Region reduced their electricity use, and the July period saw a reduction of electricity usage by 21.9 million units from the previous month, according to the YESC.

Although the State receives more revenue from the increased rates, they may also lose potential revenue when electricity is lost due to inefficiencies or when meters have been tampered with.

“As new meter rates were set, electricity theft has also risen. If meters are not checked systematically, the State will continue to lose revenue,” said U Yan Aung.

In June 2019 88.7 million unitswere leaked or stolen from the grid, costing around K5 billion. In July that figure rose to 106.7 million units, at a cost of K11 billion, according to the YESC at a press conference held on September 9.

To prevent potential power loses from theft, from now on we will take stronger action against those people who tamper with their meter boxes, a spokesperson at the YESC said.

26 percent of users in the Yangon Region use between 1 to 75 units; 38 percent of the users consume from 75 to 200 units; and 36 percent from 200 units and above.

According to a 2014 International Energy Agency(IEA) report, 20 percent of the electricity produced in Myanmar is unaccounted for. The country is suffering losses for production costs and the waste percentages are as follows; 3pc for power transfer, 7pc for lack of technological support and the remaining 10pc for illegal power use.”

U Yan Aung asked the respective officials at the meeting to inspect the meter boxes where power waste was high in industrial zones, factories and shopping malls.

To avoid power losses the Yangon Region Ministry of Electricity, Industry and Transport is taking measures to improve power transmission. These measures include repairing transformer with unbalanced loads and connections and replacing analogue meters with digital ones.

The ministry also has plans to install modems to meters and have them relay data back to servers in the headquarters, which will allow for monitoring of power consumption by GSM communication, said Minister Daw Nilar Kyaw.

Step-by-step measures will also be taken based on the available budget to supervise meter-reading staff, and to train them in identifying illegal power users on the grid. The ministry plans to form an inspection team, who will be equipped with powers to issue orders against those breaking the law, she said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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