Conference: African Utility Week
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Presenter: Izak van Gass
Abstract: Presented by Izak van Gass at African Utility Week
The primary objective of electricity metering is to collect revenue. Reported non-technical losses are in access of R5 billion per year. Customers should have a right to accurate and reliable metering and billing. Utilities should have a right to collect revenue. Legislation should be in place to enforce the collection of revenue.
Customers need to be educated on their rights and obligations as part of a payment for services strategy. Key research findings support the following:
- Metering technology and metering management is a key in improving customer service and payment levels.
- A quick billing response time in terms of customer management is required.
- Revenue Collection Targets should be set for technical losses and non–technical losses which should be supported by the regulator.
- Good CRM (Customer Relations Management) structures and systems should be in place.
Some of the reasons for non-technical losses include the following:
- Poor customer service.
- Inaccurate meter reading and billing systems.
- Political interference.
- Misunderstanding of the free basic electricity policy.
- Quality of supply.
- Differential tariffs.
- Customers need to be educated on their rights and obligations as part of a payment for services strategy.
Added Value and Metering
- There should be added value to customers eg. Energy management, SMS and consumption monitoring.
- Countries eg. UK, the European countries, Australia and North America have all legislated the implementation of smart meters in response to specific market drivers.
- A national approach mandated and coordinated by Government and/or the Energy Regulator is required for metering deployment.
- Ease of payment, customer convenience and improved customer service should be considered.
A holistic strategy in terms of metering management is required.