Kingston, Jamaica — (METERING.COM) — May 8, 2009 – Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) has begun rolling out its new Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) technology to the residential sector, as part of its continued bid to reduce the theft of electricity.

The first areas to receive the AMI are Old Harbour Bay and St Catherine.

The system comprises a meter box containing up to 24 meters with remote disconnect/reconnect, which is mounted on a pole. In addition the cabinet has a tamper-proof locking arrangement that, if activated by JPS, can disconnect the premises served by all the meters in the cabinet, should someone attempt to tamper with the system.

JPS’s head of engineering and technology, Steve Dixon was quoted as saying that the system will address the issue of meter accessibility, as the regular power lines are being replaced by tamper-proof lines and the meters are being removed from customers’ homes.

Customers will be provided with a display unit to monitor consumption inside their homes.

JPS plans to deploy AMI to 10,000 households in 2009.

Previously the company had deployed AMI to approximately 2,600 large business customers (see AMI – a weapon for JPS to combat loss). A further 2,200 business customers are expected to be fitted with AMI meters this year.

“Based on the experience of utilities in other countries, we are convinced that the implementation of the AMI system and the increased use of technology in our loss reduction efforts are keys to achieving sustainable results,” Dixon was quoted as saying.