Accept smart water meters, says Barbados water authority

Caribbean Water authority smart meters
Meter replacement has begun in the parishes of St. James and St. Thomas. Some areas in St. Joseph, St. Andrew and St. John have also had their water meters changed over

In the Caribbean, the chairman of the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) has appealed to the Barbadian public to accept new smart water meters being installed by the authority in a bid to stop customers from vandalising the advanced metering technology units.

The chairman, Al Walcott, made the announcement at a church service last Sunday coinciding with the start of World Water Week.

Appeal for water meter acceptance

Walcott said the BWW has been tasked with educating the public about smart meters in response to mixed feelings from customers regarding their deployment.

Mr Walcott said: “The meter is a friend and not an enemy.

“Like with any technology, I think what we need to do as the Authority is to educate the public, to let them know that the meter will serve them better as opposed to just causing them to pay high bills,” added the chairman.

Commenting on the feedback that the authority has received, Dr. Atlee Brathwaite, chairman of the board of directors at BWA, said: “I would like to make an appeal to those persons who have been wilfully damaging our new meters to desist from this practice since it is a cost to the authority, both in terms of manpower and equipment costs, to have the meter replaced.”

Highlighting its advantages, Mr Brathwaite, said: “These meters have a feature which can give an early alert vis-à-vis possible leaks on customers’ premises and high water consumption, and therefore place the customer in the position of responding quickly in taking the required corrective action.”

BWA began the smart meter rollout by installing advanced meters in Catholic church parishes on the island.

Caribbean Utilities Company AMI rollout

Meanwhile in the Caribbean island of Grand Cayman, the public electric utility confirmed last week that it is halfway through a rollout of more than 27,000 smart meters in a bid to introduce time of use (ToU) pricing.

The Caribbean Utilities Company (CUC) in 2011 started deploying 27,560 throughout the island, the largest of the three Cayman territories, as part of a US$5 million program

The utility has installed 12,500 meters throughout Grand Cayman’s five districts, the cost of which will not be charged back to the customer, reported local newspaper Cayman Compass.

CUC also reports that no customer have opted-out. “CUC hasn’t had any such requests; on the contrary, customers are becoming aware of the benefits to them, and CUC has received requests for exchanges to be made sooner,” said a CUC spokesperson.