$4.1 million E.P.C. meter project to continue
The Electric Power Corporation’s (E.P.C.) $4.1 million Smart Meters Project will continue to be rolled out as public concerns about the accuracy of the payment system have been resolved.
This was confirmed by the E.P.C. General Manager, Tologata Tile Tuimaleali’ifano, in an interview with the Samoa Observer. 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.”
The E.P.C. chief hopes 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.
Tologata in August this year gave the assurance that households with smart meters already installed are doing well, except for some delays in the system due to telecommunication interference.
He emphasised that the smart meters have benefits for both the customers and the E.P.C. and removes access to the meter.
Other benefits include meter reading, which can be done remotely as well as the disconnection of the service, that can also be done remotely for single phase and three phase direct consumers.
Tologata said consumers can also purchase electricity using prepaid phones and monitor their electricity consumption as well as know the quality of electricity they are receiving.
“E.P.C. can also remotely monitor the quality of electricity and act accordingly before consumers complain or report,” he added.
Unlike the cash power meter that switches off when credit runs out, the smart meter can be programmed to remain on, even if the meter runs out of credit at night time. This gives consumer time to purchase electricity the next morning.