Assessing introduction of prepaid gas meters for domestic users and its viability in Bangladesh: a case of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited
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Bangladesh has limited resources of Natural Gas and it will not last if not used cautiously. In Bangladesh, Gas consumption of domestic customers is not metered and they are not cautious about the gas usage. Prepaid meter will ensure that customers will not waste gas as they have to pay for the exact amount of gas they use. Natural Gas is distributed to the customer through quite a few distribution companies in Bangladesh, among them Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited (TGTDCL) is the largest. Prepaid Gas meter was first introduced in Bangladesh in 2004 at Banani Residential Area which is under TGTDCL franchise area. This study examines how and up to what extent natural gas wastage in domestic customer premises of TGTDCL can be reduced by the implementation of pre-paid gas metering system. Pre-paid gas metering system is a new concept in Bangladesh. This study also examines whether this system is acceptable to TGTDCL domestic customers or not. This study also examines the financial and economic viability of implementing pre-paid gas metering system in TGTDCL. In the study it was found that significant amount of gas is saved by the implementation of prepaid metering system in domestic customer premises and this saved gas can be used by industrial or commercial customers, which results increase in TGTDCL revenue. Domestic Customers also welcomed this new concept as it reduced their utility costs if they use it cautiously. Some customers are not willing to use this system as recharging points of prepaid gas meter cards are far away from their home, some customers are not happy with TGTDCL service. TGTDCL also benefited by the system as there is no outstanding bills. It was also found in the study that though it is not financially viable for TGTDCL to implement this system, it is economically viable for the organization. As, there is a huge gap in demand and supply of natural gas in Bangladesh, Prepaid gas meter should be introduced to reduce wastage in the domestic customer premises. TGTDCL should give more emphasis on prepaid customer service and also they need to increase more recharging points in order to buy in customers into prepayment system.