EghtesadOnline: Electricity Power Distribution Company of Qazvin Province is set to stop issuing paper bills by mid-September and switch to electronic billing as a pilot project.
Instead of issuing paper bills, the company will send subscribers text messages, Yousef Rezaei, CEO of Communications and Information Technology Organization of the province, said.
"The plan will save time for the people and reduce paper wastage and environmental pollution," the ICT Ministry's website Ict.gov.ir quoted him as saying.
Rezaei said subscribers will be able to pay the bills by merely sending the 13-digit serial in the text bills to 10001121, according to Financial Tribune.
Currently, paper bills are issued by the Electricity Power Distribution Company for over 601,000 subscribers in the province every two months.
Hossein Sabouri, the head of the company, said the scheme has been proposed by the Energy Ministry to expand electronic services offered by the government.
The plan was earlier launched by the Telecommunications Company of Iran in 2018. TCI announced that it plans to stop issuing paper bills and switch to electronic billing.
The company offered a 24-hour free call gift for those who pay the bill online before the 6th of the Iranian month after receiving the text message.
The pilot phase of the scheme was launched in July 2018 and six million subscribers of the company have been receiving their bills via text messages. The company has 34 million subscribers.
ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi earlier told reporters that the nationwide switching to electronic billing system for all utility services (including water, power, gas and landline and mobile phones) will save up to 14.4 trillion rials ($107.5 million) annually, which is currently spent on printing paper utility bills.
According to official reports, Iranians annually use some 25 kilograms of paper per capita. Twelve trees should be felled to make one ton of 100% non-recycled newsprint.
In addition to reducing costs, one major advantage of switching to electronic billing is its contribution to environmental protection by decreasing paper use.