The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has installed 630 000 pre-paid electricity meters across the country, 170 000 fewer than its 800 000 year-end target.
ZETDC said it was now awaiting delivery of meters to compete the project.
“The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company started the roll out of prepaid electricity meters in August 2012 and to date, 630 000 have been connected in domestic premises and small institutions countrywide.
“ZETDC has a target of 800 000 prepaid electricity meters by December 2018 and is optimistic of delivering to expectations,” it said a statement yesterday.
The power utility said a further 100 000 post paid and load limited customers were still to be migrated to the prepaid platform. ZETDC is awaiting delivery of meters to complete the project. To complement the availability of meters, ZETDC said: “the introduction of the Customer Supplied Meter Scheme by the Government in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority ushered in a total of 17 independent players and the scheme has helped as there is steady progress in connection rate”.
It said there was also a net saving of 123MW of electricity resulting from the demand side management impact of migrating consumers to pre-payment metering, translating to annualised cost savings of more than $5,5 million due to the closure of banking halls.
ZETDC said the pre-payment project has also resulted in increased customer convenience and satisfaction due to the availability of prepaid tokens in terms of reach and spread as a result of third party vending. On smart metering, ZETDC said it has plans of migrating 40 000 medium and large power users to 100Amps and above to the smart metering system. Large chain stores, supermarkets and food outlets, miners, farmers and industry are being targeted under smart metering.
“Funded from ZETDC own resources, the smart metering project is estimated to cost $45 million covering smart meters, communication infrastructure and meter data management system (platform) and installations are expected to start before the end of the year, “ said ZETDC.
A smart meter is an electronic device installed at a customer’s premises. It registers and periodically sends billing information to the ZETDC back office.
The meter has communication capabilities and can operate in either prepaid or post paid mode. It has enhanced functionalities beneficial to both the consumers and the power utility.