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DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF AN ONLINE ELECTRICITY PAYMENT AND METERING SYSTEM WITH PAYMENT INTEGRATION, EMAILING AND SMS. (A CASE STUDY OF HARCOURT ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY)

ABSTRACT

Inadequate, shoddy, and disorganized electricity billing and consumer relations management plague Nigeria’s power sector. Even with the deployment of prepaid billing meters, electricity tariff costs and collection have been a serious difficulty in several Nigerian communities. Electricity customers must go to banks to make payments and then take bankers to power control utility offices to confirm their power payment before they may energize their cards, which is a time-consuming and inconvenient process. The goal of this study is to create and implement a simple, cashless, automated, and transparent power metering, billing, and payment system. This study combines the power of the internet with the SMS and E-mail networks to enable power meters to communicate. When completely implemented, this proposed technology will allow electricity customers to effortlessly recharge and pay their bills from their mobile phones and PCs. The Harcourt Power Distribution Company’s installation of the Online Electricity Payment and Metering System would help increase accountability, organization, and ease payment for electricity in Nigeria. The suggested system was created utilizing HTML and CSS, as well as PHP and mySQL for programming.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Every human activity in daily life requires a large amount of energy. The energy meter is an important part of the electricity delivery system. An energy meter is a device that measures the amount of electricity used by electrical appliances in private homes and businesses. The kilowatt-hour is the unit of measurement for energy meters (kWh). A kilowatt-hour is defined as the amount of electricity energy consumed by a heap of one kilowatt for 60 minutes. Voltage coils and current loops are the basic components of an energy meter. The current coils measure the instantaneous current, while the voltage loop measures the immediate voltage (volts) (amperes). The system’s consequence of the immediate voltage. This electrical technology allows both users and the utility provider to monitor their electricity usage and consumption from afar. Because energy consumptions may be assessed remotely by the electrical provider and cross-checked with income generated over time, the approach is efficient and effective against corruption. The power electronic meter is combined with a communication network, which in this case is an SMS and email network. The Remote electricity billing is a unique concept, in which the Online Electricity Payment and Metering System will help improve accountability, organize and ease payment for electricity in Nigeria, this will help the electricity management board collect the consumed units’ data from energy consumers to help improve how electricity is shared. Because each customer is given a unique energy meter with a GSM modem, microcontroller unit, and display,

Subscribers to the online electricity system will be able to pay without having to queue in banks, and this technology will allow them to pay for only what they can utilize or afford.

The rise in power usage and its financial implications in terms of per kWh have prompted the deployment of energy-efficient equipment and monitoring. As a result, metering is described as a technique for estimating and tracking energy consumption and usage. The Nigerian power sector is beset with inefficient and disorganized billing and customer service systems. Even with the introduction of prepaid meters, energy tariff billing and collection have remained a major issue in Nigeria. Electricity buyers must pay at banks and then take bank tellers, which is a time-consuming and difficult process. The main goal of this project is to design and implement a convenient, cashless, computerized, and transparent electricity metering, billing, and payment system that does not require users to visit banks, and includes SMS and email integration to notify users when payments are made and their meter cards are activated.

 STATEMENT  OF THE STUDY

In Nigeria, electricity customers frequently face long lines in banks and difficulty paying their prepaid electricity bills. Even after making successful payments, they must take their payment receipts to power control offices to have their prepaid meters recharged, which causes delays and is a disadvantage in our communities. Companies that rely on electricity for production suffer a significant loss when their power is cut off or when the allocated energy is depleted. As a result, having an effective and efficient online system for such purposes via internet platform with seamless payments of prepaid electricity prices is critical.

 AIMS AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The major goal of this study is to design and implement an online electrical payment and metering system that will allow electricity customers across Nigeria to effortlessly replenish their electricity meters, with the following goals:

Allow for online payment of prepaid energy credit with SMS and email notifications.
After payment, users are automatically credited and power consumption is allocated.
After payments or when credit is running low, send SMS and email alerts.
Sending data about energy use to the power company’s office.
Payment and billing transactions are protected.
Increasing accountability in Nigeria’s energy sector.

MOTIVATION OF THE STUDY

In today’s society, electricity is a vital source of energy. Humans are unable to imagine a world without electricity. It is used for a variety of applications, including home appliances, the production of items we use on a daily basis, industrial uses, irrigation, and so on. However, power is a finite resource. This has led to the creation of the Online Electricity Payment and Metering System, which makes it incredibly simple and easy to pay for electricity as it is used up.

SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The research is focused on creating an Online Electricity Payment and Metering System for Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company. Nigeria has various electricity distribution companies.

 LIMITATION OF THE PROJECT

This project was created to address the payment difficulties that power customers encounter in Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company’s service areas, but it may be utilized and implemented by other distribution companies across Nigeria by simply changing the program’s input architecture and user interface.

 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Electricity is a set of physical phenomena that are connected with the presence and mobility of matter that has an electric charge.

– Electricity meter – An electricity meter, also known as an electric meter, electrical meter, or energy meter, is a device that monitors the amount of electric energy consumed by a home, a business, or a gadget that is powered by electricity.

– Payment is the act or practice of paying someone or something, or receiving payment.

– Energy is the power derived from the use of physical or chemical resources, particularly to provide light and heat or to operate machinery.

– SMS (short message service) is a text messaging service that is available on most phone, Internet, and mobile device systems.

Email is a type of electronic message that is sent from one computer user to one or more recipients.

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