“Communication is the key to smart meter success! Communication providers therefore have a huge opportunity in the global rollout of smart metering.” Michael J Rhode, Director: Technical Services, Knysna Municipality, South Africa and President of the Southern Africa Revenue Protection Association (SARPA).
The business case for smart metering has been made worldwide as a tool to increase revenue collection and reduce non-technical losses. It has the potential to address Africa’s power challenges, but in many case studies it has been highlighted that the selection of the right technology is key. Utilities often choose technologies without the due diligence and requirement assessments and there are numerous considerations to be made regarding installation, maintenance, operations and service level agreements. During the African Utility Week advisory board meetings earlier this year these concerns were raised and the question of whether African utilities and municipalities are ready to implement smart metering technologies was discussed at length.