EPS and a very pricey contract on electricity metre reading

Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS) has concluded a contract on electricity metre reading for a fee that is at least twice higher than the current one – the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) has found out.

After conducting a public procurement, in August 2016, EPS hired a consortium of bidders, with the Sequester Company at its helm, and entrusted them with the business of reading electricity meters and recording how much electricity had been consumed.

The winning consortium, with a recruitment agency Sequester at its helm, is also comprised of a private security companies Dobergard, Protekta and Inter Safe Business, and recruitment agencies Revnost, Work and Care, Faks and Izlaz.

The consortium had the winning bid of 39.99 diners per read electricity metre which is much higher compared to the price that EPS had been paying beforehand.

The contract is valid for two years, and it stipulates that the number of consumer complaints should not exceed 0.1% of the read metres. If the number of customer complaints exceeds this percentage, Sequester undertakes to compensate the customers who complained. A research that BIRN has conducted shows that the previous fee for reading electricity metres in urban areas, where they are much more densely distributed and where reading the data about consumed electricity from them is much easier, was 10 dinars per metre, while the same fee in rural areas was 30 Dinars. The previous fee was the same for all metres regardless of their location, and was much lower than the current one.

BIRN also says that the acting CEO of EPS, Milorad Grcic refused to reply to the questions about the new fees. The proprietor of Sequester, Dejan Jeremic also refused to answer questions about this issue.

To remind, Serbian PM Aleksandar Vucic said yesterday that there had been irregularities in EPS’ data about consumed electricity and that the December bills were much higher than usual. EPS apologized to its consumers, announcing an investigation into the matter.

(N1, 23.01.2017)


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