Since its inception, APDCL has been striving hard to improve its efficiency and performance and to give quality services to the consumers. In order to achieve this, APDCL has taken many innovative steps:IT initiatives:
- APDCL has started computerized billing system since 2005-06 to facilitate proper billing. Online payment has been started for all consumers under APDCL and scope of the online payment has been expanded to include various third party payment options such as Airtel Money, Vodafone M-Pesa, Bill Cloud, Common Service Center (CSC) etc. The bill and payment related information are being sent through SMS to consumers. Facility for online registration of new LT service connection is being provided. Under the Government of Assam’s “Ease of doing business” initiative, online service connection facility has been started for high value industrial consumers through the single point portal www.easeofdoingbusinessinassam.in. APDCL has also provided facility for online recharging of prepaid consumer meters.
- A centralized Customer Care Centre is being set up at Guwahati which will facilitate –
- A prospective new customer to register/track/check the status of his service request like a new service connection application online.
- Existing customers to be able to check the status of their service request(s) like enhancement of load/meter change/category change etc. online.
- Effective and quick resolution of customer complaints lodged online as well as by telephone to register their complaints through the Integrated Voice Response System (IVRS) facility. They can track the status of their complaints online. Also the complaint resolution mechanism would be integrated with the Maintenance Module for better maintenance.
- Two 'unmanned' cash /cheque collection KIOSKS have been installed in Sixmile and Bishnupur under Guwahati city wherein customers can view and pay their bills in the cash/cheque collection machines. 5 nos. of additional KIOSKs are also going to be set up in Guwahati City shortly. This is in addition to the regular payment counters. APDCL is also in the process of setting up more number of unmanned payment kiosks throughout Assam.
- A SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system covering the distribution network of Guwahati city is being implemented. This will enable efficient power distribution management and less outages through real time data acquisition.
- As a part of the Smart Grid related initiatives under the Govt of India and supervision of the Indian Smart Grid Task Force, work order for implementing Smart Grid under 3 Sub-Divisions under Guwahati (Paltanbazar, Ulubari and Narengi) has been awarded and work has already been started.
Electricity powers economic development and shortage of electricity has a negative impact on the economy. For the country to march ahead on the growth path, the supply – demand gap must be bridged and indeed supply must get ahead of demand, not the other way round, as we are accustomed to live with. Electricity is needed not just in the urban centres, but equally in the rural sector as well.
Since 2005, APDCL has initiated rural franchisee system to facilitate maintenance of rural electricity infrastructure locally and improve revenue collection from rural areas. It is expected that this additional realisation will be used for increasing power supply in the rural areas.
Collection Based Distribution Franchisee: The role of franchisee under this model is to carry out billing, revenue collection, complaint redressal, facilitating release of new service connection and keeping vigil on the distribution network in the franchised area for providing appropriate feedback
to the utility. Such collection franchisees are appointed for an area and be given a target for revenue collection every month (which depends on the baseline collection in the area).
The remuneration methodology involves:
- Paying the franchisee margins (which will be a percentage of collections) on achievement of the target,
- Levy of penalty for not achieving the target
- Incentives for exceeding the target
Primary duty of the franchisee is revenue collection as the incentives are based on the revenue which he collects on behalf of the utility. In this model the franchisee acts as a facilitator cum enabler in increasing the revenue collection through his efforts towards reaching more consumers and motivating them to pay their dues in time. The franchisee can help to make the consumers aware of the collection procedures and provide them with convenient payment options, so that the incidences of defaults in payments are reduced. The franchisee needs to facilitate the consumers to make their payments, while the consumer related complaints would still be handled by the utility as the billing and rest of the commercial activities would still be with them.