Prepared to tackle the problem of power theft and end estimated billing system that have denied them of huge revenue, the two power distribution companies in Lagos state have installed 62,368 pre-paid meters in their bid to improve on electricity supply.
The meters were installed after the federal government turned them over to private initiatives under the privatisation programme.
Statistics show that Eko Electricity Distribution company installed about 44,300 meters had been installed by the company between Nov. 1, 2013 to date while Ikeja Electric had installed 18,068 in the post privatisation era.
To get to this point, Godwin Idemudia, the Head, Strategy Communications, Eko Electricity Distribution Company, said that the company spent over N3.2 billion on meters procurement alone while additional N1.8 billion had been budgeted to purchase about 41, 000 single and three-phase meters in the next three years.
Additional N3 billion had been set aside for purchase of 7,500 Maximum Demand (MD) meters for adequate metering in its area, according to Idemudia who also said that the company is investing about N5.8 billion on meters which are being installed, while about 400,000 meters will be installed by the company within the next three years.
“To tackle the metering challenges, a total of 7,500 maximum demand meters have been procured at a cost N2.8 billion, as well as 50,000 meters for the non-maximum demand customers.
“These meters, both the MD and non-MD, constitute only the first phase of our metering plan that will see all our close to 400,000 customers metered free of charge,” he said.
Idemudia said that the installation of the first phase meters had already begun, but it would not be possible to cover everyone at the same time.
Large percentage of the meters were procured from local manufacturers in line with the local content act and also “because of the company’s belief in contributing meaningfully to the local economy”.
Ikeja Electric according to statistics showed that the firm had spent $106 million to install a total 18.068 meters post privatisation, of which Pekun Adeyanju, Head, Strategy Communication at Ikeja Electric, said include about 13,236 smart meters.
The remaining are 4,832 Standard Transfer Specification (STS) meters which had also been installed by the company.
The installation is part the efforts by the company to execute the report of its study which showed that 300, 000 of the 600,000 customers in the zone did not have functional meters.
“Ikeja Electric has commenced the first phase of installation of about 300,000 smart meters in the zone.
“The meters, which were acquired at a cost of $106 million dollars (N21.2 billion) under its Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), would assist in curtailing energy theft and put an end to estimated billing system.
The new metering initiative, known as “Smart Metering’’, would address some challenges associated with the billing system.
The metering pilot project, which ended in August, has given the management an overview on customers who have electricity challenges or non-functional meters.