Smart meters rollout in 2021: E.P.C. chief

The Electric Power Corporation’s $4.1 million Smart Meters Project should be in full operation next year, says General Manager, Faumui Tauiliili Iese Toimoana.

In a telephone interview with the Samoa Observer, Faumui said the corporation is trying its best to get the new technology working so customers can be assured of the comfort and reliability of using the new system.

He said the time frame that the E.P.C. is now looking at in terms of getting the new system to be fully functional is next year. 

“We continue to receive complaints about the smart meters from members of the public and we cannot say they’re mistaken and so the E.P.C. has never stopped working on this project until it is fixed,” he said.

“We’re also in contact with the contractors of the smart meters and they will fix this error so we’re estimating that by next year it should be up and running.”

Faumui added that he is hopeful that complainants take into account the advantages that come with using smart meter technology and its impact on their use of electrical appliances.

In August this year the EPC stopped the roll out of the project following complaints from members of the public over the accuracy of the system. 

The Office of the Regulator then did a survey among residents who were using newly installed smart meters, and feedback showed problems with its use, leading to the Office recommending the roll out be ceased. 

Former E.P.C. General Manager, Tologata Tile Tuimalealiifano, said last month before his official resignation from the corporation that smart meters will be rolled out as the technical problems had been resolved. 

He said the E.P.C. has found a solution to the problem and is confident that the rollout will resume.

“Currently, there are some interference from frequencies where it operates, hence why the delay from the consumer, and the vending is also a problem but the company has found a solution,” he said.

“The main problem with smart meters is the interference in communication. The smart meter is based at our main office in Sogi and it’s a two-way communication.”

He was hopeful that by next month, most of the smart meters would have been installed in Falelauniu and Vaitele, and the rollout of the new technology will resume from Saleufi where it first started.

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