PRADEEP DAMODARAN Waiting in long queues to pay electricity bills could soon be a thing of the past as Tamil Nadu Electricity Board(TNEB) plans to enable online bill payment for its consumers across the state in the next few months, senior TNEB officials said.
Online bill payment was introduced in Chennai during September 2008 on a pilot basis and around 65,000 consumers pay their electricity bill through Internet. But the initiative does not seem to have gained popularity among the public as expected.
“Online payers constitute only 5.5% of the total 19 lakh EB consumers in the city and a vast majority still prefers to pay their bills at the TNEB office counters,” the officials said.
“Online bill payment was introduced in Chennai during September 2008 on a pilot basis and around 65,000 consumers pay their electricity bill through internet.”
While the payments can be made using Master of Visa Credit/Debite cards, the TNEB website also allows net banking facilities with select banks.
“It is very secure and the consumer will be provided a bill upon receipt of the required amount. A Copy of the bill will also be stored in the user’s account for future verification, “officials at the IT wing of TNEB said.
Consumers who register with the TNEB website are also provided regular email alerts regarding their bill payments.
“Soon, we also plan to introduce SMS Alert system to avoid the consumers paying fee,” the officials said
In Coimbatore, online bill payment system was recently introduced during late June according to Tamil Nadu Electricity Board officials, the consumers seem to have embraced the facility as their number of online account holders have increased drastically over the past two months.
The recent changes in the billing cycle wherein the consumers are billed through the month and the payments can be made within 20days of receipt of the bill has also reduced crowding at the EB counters.