The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is installing new Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) devices at all telecommunication cell sites in the Volta Region.
The move forms part of the power distributor’s drive to safeguard the integrity of all its meter installations and promote transparency in its dealings with customers.
The AMR meters are smart meters equipped with a mobile data SIM card, which enables both the ECG and a customer to monitor the energy inflow, and the customer’s real time consumption.
The ECG has so far installed the new AMRs at 170 of a total of 270 teleco cell sites in the region.
The cell site metering project is a partnership between the ECG and the telecommunication companies in Ghana.
The ECG provides the meters while the telcos provide cables and other materials needed for the installations.
The Volta Regional commercial manager of ECG, Sylvester Abrefah-Besea praised the partnership between the telcos and ECG, leading to the successful roll out of the project.
He revealed that the telcos will be able to monitor their consumption and other activities on the meter, through a web application they will be granted access to.
“Our field officers often had problems gaining access to read the meters at most cell sites because these facilities are under lock and key. Now, even before we print out the monthly bills, a customer can know what he has consumed by the click of a button” he said. He added that “the AMR meter has an alarm system that will immediately trigger when anyone tampers with it or tries to engage in an illegality,” he said.
In a related development, the ECG has installed a net-meter at Ho Polytechnic radio station, Volta Premier FM.
The installation of the meter follows the successful completion of a 10KW grid-tied solar photovoltaic system by the station.
The net-meter will allow excess power generated by the station’s solar system to be fed into the national grid for use by other customers of ECG.
Without a net-meter, the feeding back of the excess solar power would be regarded as consumption and the station, billed for it.
“These recent smart meter installations show the new direction the company is heading”, the Volta Regional General Manager of the ECG, Ing. Joseph Forson said.
He stressed that “the ECG aims to consolidate the many gains made over the past year, and seal any loopholes through the introduction of the latest technology”. Ing. Forson told the company’s customers.