City Power, the South African electricity distributor, is ready to implement an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), or smart meters, throughout Johannesburg.
The smart meters are linked to computers in order to provide an accurate report of the exact amount of the electricity used in a household for a specific period of time.
The smart meters eliminate the need for City Power technicians to visit properties and further contributes towards billing accuracy since consumption will be measured in real time.
Sol Masolo, City Power’s communications general manager, said the implementation of the smart meters will commence this financial year and will conclude in September or October in 2015.
“The purpose of the business trial was to ensure that the roll-out takes place efficiently and smoothly,” said Masolo. “During the business trial, we also deployed meter data management software to collect meter reading information and provide it to the City of Johannesburg’s billing system.”
During the course of the past eight months City Power has installed 153 smart meters in Johannesburg’s Ferndale suburb and 2,500 in the city’s areas which use large amounts of electricity. This was done in line with City Power’s “project business trial”.
“The business trial also enabled us to compile key business processes and to set up the back office environment so that we can realise the expected benefits,” said Masolo.
“City Power is proud that the project is also benefitting small businesses. We are training emerging micro and medium enterprises to complement core staff, thereby enabling City Power to deploy between 10,000 and 12,000 meters a month across the City of Johannesburg.”
The first phase will be focussing on larger power users in Johannesburg and meter installation is said to take no longer than an hour and will be carried out together with resident consultations.