EghtesadOnline: A scheme is being rolled out in Iran to replace electricity paper billing with cellphone text messages in a few months.
As per the scheme, a database of users’ cellphone numbers is being created.
Reza Teimouri, CEO of Tehran Province Electricity Distribution Company, told ISNA that about 60% of residents in the capital have so far registered their information on the database.
He called on the public to join the move since the old paper billing system will be scrapped in a few months throughout the country, Financial Tribune reported.
"To register with the database, subscribers can send a text message to 50001521 and enter their information as required," he added.
According to the scheme, which was unveiled in Tehran by the Energy Ministry in mid-June, the bills will be sent as text messages to subscribers who will be able to pay the bills by merely sending the 13-digit serial in the text bills to 10001121.
Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian said the plan will save time, reduce paper wastage and prevent environmental pollution.
“It also expands the government's electronic services and enhances billing management,” he said.
Experts say efforts are underway to collect the subscribers' phone numbers and upgrade the electronic billing systems in power companies.
The scheme has already been launched in Qazvin Province as a pilot project.
Paper bills are issued by Tehran’s Electricity Distribution Company for over 601,000 subscribers every two months.
Officials say the nationwide switching to the electronic billing system for all utility services (including water, power and gas, as well as landline and mobile phones) will save up to 14.4 trillion rials ($122 million) annually, which are currently spent on printing paper utility bills.
According to official reports, Iranians annually use 25 kilograms of paper per capita. Twelve trees are felled to make 1 ton of 100% non-recycled newsprint.