Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago — (METERING.COM) — November 18, 2008 – By the end of September the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC) had passed the half way mark in its AMI rollout, with 260,000 meters out of a projected 400,000 meters having been successfully replaced.
This means that the project is well on target, according to AMI project team leader Kenneth George, who says the success of this target is largely due to increased public awareness efforts, making the changeover smooth and virtually “hiccup free”.
“Using brochures, radio spots and press ads, customers have been pre-advised of the meter upgrade project,” said George. “In addition, more collector units have been deployed into the field, especially along the East/West Corridor, which has increased the number of actual reads received for billing purposes.”
In addition to installation issues, good customer service and ensuring that safety standards remain paramount, George said the AMI team is now focusing on outage management, customer care and revenue protection.
The introduction of the new meters has, however, had an impact on billing, with delays, specifically for the normal 60-day billing for customers whose meters have been changed over the billing period, and an increase in the number of complaints about unusually high bills.
While the T&TEC is to give rebates on electricity bills to certain customers who have recently received unusually high bills, the company attributes the higher bills to the longer than usual billing cycle, a rate increase effective August 1, and more accurate reading with the new meters.
The utility said that because of complaints from customers it had tested the new meters, but these were found to be accurate in all cases.
The rebates will be given in the form of a credit on bills sent out within the next three months.
The T&TEC is the power transmission and distribution utility of the twin island republic of Trinidad and Tobago.