On Thursday, South African state-owned power utility Eskom, announced that it will be installing an estimated 6,000 smart prepaid meters in various regions of Gauteng by the end of March 2016.
This programme is part of the utility’s Smart Prepayment Solution to all customer sectors.
The objective of this initiative is to ensure, amongst other things, upfront cash collection for Eskom that will enhance the business cash-flow, improve the certainty of collecting revenue and address Eskom’s debt collection challenges.
Smart prepaid meters: failed attempt
This rollout follows a similar, but failed attempt earlier this year when the city of Tshwane in Pretoria pulled out of a ZAR1.2 billion ($101 million) contract with investment company PEU Capital Partners.
The contract, which was to supply 900,000 smart meters, was terminated following allegations around there being a lack of preparation for a large-scale deployment.
The power company highlighted many benefits of installing smart prepaid meters including savings on meter reading, improved technical performance and enhanced community safety by using the smart metering technology.
The utility is encouraging its customers to convert from their conventional meters to the smart prepaid meter billing mode.
A bright December
This announcement follows suit of the utility’s plans for a ‘maintenance festival’ over the December period where they intend to ramp up planned maintenance to between 6,000MW and 8,000MW.
“Planned maintenance is being ramped up over the festive season to take advantage of the drop in the demand of electricity in an effort to further improve the performance and reliability of Eskom’s power generating units.
“Eskom would like to encourage customers to continue using electricity sparingly during this period in order to assist with the success of the maintenance festival,” the utility said in a company statement.
Home page pic credit: smartmeter.tshwane.gov