This case examines how the public utility in Chittagong, Bangladesh’s second-largest city, completely eliminated the theft of electricity that had plagued its operation since the early 1990s by installing prepaid meters. The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) used to lose millions of dollars a year to electricity theft, a practice facilitated by corrupt meter readers and metering technology that made it easy to illegally tap power lines.
This case study examines a program of rural electrification in Bangladesh by means of solar home systems (SHS). Bangladesh ranks among the lowest in the world for population with access to electricity. In 2003, the Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) launched the SHS program to provide cost-effective electricity to the rural population of Bangladesh. Using an ownership model, customers financed the purchase of SHS from partner organizations (POs).