Service to be gradually expanded across country
Kathmandu, August 21
Valley residents can from now on pay their electricity bills online through mobile applications or outlets of selected payment gateways, as the power utility today launched electronic payment system.
Energy Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA)’s Managing Director Kulman Ghising jointly inaugurated the e-payment system today, putting an end to traditional bill payment system through NEA counters only.
NEA has signed contracts with six parties, including payment gateways and banks and financial institutions. Initially, the e-payment system has been launched in the Kathmandu valley, which will be expanded across the country after its successful implementation in the Capital city, according to Kulman Ghising, managing director of NEA.
NEA has authorised eSewa, Paypoint, City Express Money Transfer, CFS Remit, Prabhu Bank and Mahalaxmi Development Bank to collect the electricity tariff.
“We are also negotiating with three more parties to provide this service,” said Ghising, adding, “We expect this facility to help our clients make timely payment of electricity bills.”
However, the clients having outstanding dues of over three months will not be able to clear their bills through the e-payment system.
Electricity bills can be paid online, through mobile apps and outlets of the payment gateways. The banks and financial institutions authorised for the service will set up a separate counter to collect the electricity tariff. “However, the service provider cannot charge extra from the NEA customers for the service,” as per Ghising.
NEA is also preparing to instal smart metres instead of existing metres to improve the current billing system. Currently, NEA has been mobilising metre readers to gather accurate data regarding the amount of electricity consumed by its clients.
“The bidding document of installing smart metres is ready and we may issue tender notice in the near future,” said Ghising. Metre reading can be carried out from the centralised system after installation of smart metres and NEA would have to replace 3.5 million metres that are currently in use.
NEA also has a long-term plan to develop smart grids and modern distribution system to prevent leakage and cut power automatically in cases of payment dues.
A version of this article appears in print on August 22, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.