The rollout of smart metering projects is gaining momentum across African utilities. But the real question is, what are your reasons as a power utility for deploying this technology?

ESI Africa caught up with Eskom's senior advisor, Shawn Papi, at African Utility Week 2018 in Cape Town, to learn more about the dos and don’ts.

“First of all you should do smart metering to improve your business and to be more customer centric,” says Papi.

However, he goes on to advise that utilities should not deploy smart metering solutions to target a single problem within the company.

He recommends that power companies should have a business case that covers all the factors affecting the business, “for example a lot of utilities target revenue collection when they deploy smart metering but there could be hundreds of used cases that they could address with the same system,” he emphasises.

Deploying smart metering

According to the Eskom advisor, the adoption of smart metering can also assist in operating the grid efficiently as well as in engaging the customer.

In this way, he says utilities can leverage their investments and also optimise the system that they are deploying.

In order to reap all these benefits, Papi underlines that “you must first build the IT back office that will address whatever business used cases that you’ve defined. Build that and make sure that it works and only then start deploying meters into the field.”

Watch the video below as he expands further on this topic.