IEEE PES BRAC University Student Branch Chapter hosted a webinar on “Different metering systems in distribution utilities and evolution from traditional postpaid systems to AMI prepaid systems in Bangladesh” on November 6, 2021, It was for curious minds who wanted to learn more about Bangladesh’s AMI prepaid system from experts in this field.

An electric meter is a gadget that keeps track of how much energy has been used. The meter serves as a vital link between the electricity consumer and the electricity provider. It’s an electronic device that is used to track how much electricity is consumed by a consumer. Several factors have contributed to the emergence of the prepayment metering concept in Bangladesh, with the benefits to all involved groups in the concept and its acceptability in mind. The prepaid system is gaining popularity around the world as utilities explore new ways to improve customer service, increase cash flow, and reduce risk. The prepaid principle will remain the same, but the application will undergo a paradigm shift. It’s a whole new world in metering Bangladesh, and it’s going to be crucial for revenue and energy management. This will allow for new avenues for infrastructure investment and implementation in the coming days, allowing for enhanced customer service. In this webinar, our honorable speaker, Engr. Md. Wahiduzzaman, discussed these concerns about the distribution utilities and the evolution to the advanced metering infrastructure prepaid system in Bangladesh distinctly.

Engr. Md. Wahiduzzaman is currently working as a sub-divisional engineer for Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC). He has successfully completed two government-funded prepaid metering projects in DPDC. As Deputy Project Director of the projects, he had to deal with contract management, technology transfer and overall project management. He has been working on another ADB and AFD-funded GIS substation construction project. He visited China and India for foreign training on prepaid metering systems and transformer O & M, respectively. Before joining DPDC in 2015, he was a lecturer in EEE at BUBT and Uttara University for two years. Mr. Wahid completed BSc in EEE from the Islamic University of Technology in 2012.

The discussion began with a brief introduction to the topic by Farin Ahmed, Treasurer of the IEEE PES BRACU SBC. Then she gave the floor to the speaker and also served as the session’s moderator.

The keynote speaker, Engr. Md. Wahiduzzaman, presented the basics of metering systems, how they work and do proper measurement, how reliable they are for the economy, as well as the benefits and challenges of advanced metering infrastructure prepaid systems in this webinar. Before starting the session, he discussed with the audience their interests and mindsets for government jobs in the power industry. He also points out the benefits, procedures and opportunities of working in the government-controlled power industry.

Throughout the presentation, Md. Wahiduzzaman emphasized the need for an advanced metering infrastructure prepaid system. By introducing the advanced metering infrastructure prepaid system, you are enhancing distribution reliability and reducing consumer suffering. It is also reducing the extra fine which was faced by consumers when the system was manual and postpaid. He discussed the running principle of this system. He also informed the audience about their upcoming metering plans, which is going to be a totally IoT-based system, where the meter can automatically communicate with the provider. It will be beneficial for the large industrial customer. After that, he discussed the challenges of this new system. Finally, there was an interlocutory question and answer session with the audience. At the end of the webinar, Md. Abrar Hossen Faiyaz, the current Vice-Chair of IEEE PES BRAC University SBC, expressed his gratitude to the speaker and the audience. There were more than 40 participants from different universities who were mostly interested in power specialization.