The meters are being introduced in an effort to reduce the number of customer complaints about matters such as over-billing, payments not being recorded correctly, and incorrect disconnections, as well as to assure a constant revenue stream for the utility.
Johannesburg]Johannesburg, South Africa --- (METERING.COM) --- March 9, 2007 – Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city, will introduce energy management initiatives in an effort to compensate for expected winter power cuts by utility Eskom, which is suffering capacity problems. The initiatives include demand side measures such as the use of solar energy and installation of energy efficient equipment in water and waste water networks, according to mayor Amos Masondo.
The project, started in July 2003, is expected to be completed in June 2008 and includes a range of technical and social interventions to reduce the high levels of unaccounted for water (one third of Johannesburg Water’s purchases from Rand Water are pumped into Soweto, 70% of which is unbilled) and to improve service delivery. A total of 170,000 properties will benefit from this project. Operation Gcin’amanzi (OGA) is designed to address issues including metering and billing of customers, network rehabilitation, water leaks, and water usage habits.
2007 marks the 21st anniversary of the first commercial solid state prepayment meter – the work of two South African entrepreneurial engineers, Don Taylor and Rudi Coetzee. The development took place in their homes over the course of a year as they held down their jobs at the time, and in the subsequent years the technology has found increasing application across the world.
The economic, social and health benefits of electricity are well documented. However, less than 25% of people in sub-Saharan Africa have access to electricity.
Electricity demand is particularly strong in developing countries, where it is expected to increase by 4% per year on average. Unless concerted efforts are made to meet this demand, the number of people without access to electricity will increase to more than 500 million in the region.
Grinpal]Centurion, South Africa --- (METERING.COM) --- February 26, 2007 – The market for prepayment meters continues to grow, and South African manufacturer Grinpal has been awarded contracts worth about R690m (US$97.3 million) to supply prepaid electricity metering systems to India and the Dominican Republic.