Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality will soon be introducing the smart metering system for businesses and households throughout its area of jurisdiction. This move is aimed at improving the provision of electricity wherein the Municipality will be able to monitor individual users remotely. The project will begin with auditing of existing electricity metres and replacement of metre boxes (faulty and tempered metres) will follow.
This endeavour will start with large power users, mainly businesses and government departments who will be audited and have metre boxes replaced when necessary. The second phase will focus on small power users which mainly include households. After installation are done, the system will start working from June this year.
The smart metres were to be introduced in 2020 but due to the introduction of national Lockdown, the project stalled. Currently, the Municipality loses a lot of revenue (over 30 million per month) due to illegal connections, tempers and other technical losses. It takes a while to detect these as monitoring lacks electronic prowess.
The system will bridge the technological gap, and after installation the Municipality will be able to swiftly respond to outages, automatically read metres, detect real time tampers and reduce technical losses.
This endeavour will enhance the Municipality’s Financial Recovery Plan which has been in implementation from November 2019 and will go a long way in improving revenue collection and ultimately basic service delivery. It will also minimize irresponsible power usage by users who have tempered with the system and will decrease overloading of the system which has caused power outages.