Smart metering proposed for Bermuda


Terry E. Lister,
Bermuda’s Minister
of Energy,
and E-Commerce
Hamilton, Bermuda — (METERING.COM) — March 6, 2009 – Mandatory smart metering with time-of-use rate structure and a net metering capability is under consideration in Bermuda as this Caribbean island develops a strategy for the conservation and efficient use of energy.

“Smart metering will resolve many of the issues [associated with traditional meters in Bermuda] and allowing consumers to track their energy use could lead to reductions of up to 15 percent on their electricity bill,” says a new Energy Green Paper for Bermuda.

Moreover, these meters also permit two-way metering, enabling independent power producers to sell electricity back to the utility at a predetermined rate. “This is essential in encouraging the uptake of alternative and renewable technologies,” says the Green Paper.

Currently metering of electricity in Bermuda is unregulated and handled by the electric utility, the Bermuda Electric Light Company. In addition the traditional meters are often difficult to access and, as a result, provide relatively infrequent data.

The Energy Green Paper, from Bermuda’s one-year-old ministry of energy, telecommunications and e-commerce, is intended to form the basis of a national policy consultation on energy, with the aim of reducing the country’s almost total dependence on oil for its energy requirements. Current peak demand is close to 120 MW and apart from a small waste to energy facility, power generation is via diesel and heavy fuel oil engines and gas turbines.

The Green Paper says the potential for reducing energy demand in Bermuda through conservation and efficiency measures is significant. By applying incentives such as the customs tariff to regulate the import of key energy consuming technologies such as air conditioning systems, lighting products, other electronic appliances and vehicles, Bermuda can move toward more efficient use of energy.

The high cost of electricity in Bermuda is also a strong driver for alternative/renewable energy technologies. Bermuda’s environment provides a diverse mix of indigenous renewable energy resources, including wind and solar, and clear policies on grid connection and the rates paid for power produced from these technologies will offer a strong incentive for their uptake.

The Green Paper says that a regulatory authority will be established to oversee regulation of the energy sector. The authority is likely to be required to regulate prices and fees in a fashion that promotes competition and encourages alternative/renewable energy technologies. Administration requirements will be minimized by combining the Energy Regulatory Authority with the proposed Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

Writing in the foreword to the Green Paper, the minister of energy, telecommunications and e-commerce, Terry E. Lister, says the question of energy in Bermuda is a large and ever present issue.

“Energy conservation, efficiency, energy renewable and alternative is the new reality of the 21st century, and as a responsible world leader in business, finance, insurance, and re-insurance, Bermuda must do its part,” says Lister. “Working together, all of us will meet the challenges to move Bermuda towards energy security.”