Grupo ICE exceeds 475,000 smart meter rollout in Costa Rica


Costa Rica state electricity and telco provider Grupo ICE had 475,979 smart meters in use at December 2020.

These deployments to residential and commercial and industrial customers are the outcome of a busy 2020, with the group deploying over 265,000 smart meters during the past year.

Of these 152,315 smart meters were deployed by the Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE) in its distribution area to bring its total to 285,312 in December 2020. Compañía Nacional de Fuerza y Luz (CNFL) deployed 113,000 smart meters to achieve an end of year total of 190,667.

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For its deployment, ICE prioritised installations in remote areas such as Los Chiles in the north and Bribri and Puerto Jiménez in the south, among others. The aim with this strategy is to reduce the response time in tasks such as reconnections, which can be carried out remotely with the smart meters.

For its part, CNFL, which is responsible for the San José greater metro area, focused on the southwest of the capital, with the aim to improve the quality and continuity of service there. Its first smart branch is located in the area, which now has 100% AMI coverage.

Grupo ICE initiated studies on smart metering in Costa Rica in 2012, with the aim to improve the monitoring of consumption, detection of energy theft and the building out of a smarter grid.

The implementation of smart metering is an objective of the National Decarbonization Plan 2018-2050, with a target of 274,240 smart meters to be installed between 2019 and 2022. Further a national smart grid strategy must be developed addressing smart metering, digitalisation and other smart technology investments in the networks.

Funds for the deployment of smart metering by Grupo ICE were provided by the Inter-American Development Bank.