Smart meters have been recognised by many countries as a key tool in reducing their carbon emissions, allowing businesses and customers to proactively manage their electricity consumption by providing accurate meter readings as well as facilitating a range of wider network management and energy efficiency measures.
Tonga Power is currently looking into development of Advanced (Smart) Metering Systems. The process for trialling and selecting the appropriate metering technology to use is currently underway. “Through trials we hope to figure out what smart metering solution is most suitable for Tonga. The project will be focussing on a prepayment solution and on detailed evaluation of suitable options for smart metering for the long term”, said Nikolasi Fonua (TPL, Business Development Engineer).
Advanced metering has many implications not just for TPLs customer but for TPL itself. Smart meters these days have the ability to acquire valuable information about network events and can provide information that allows for faster response to serious network problems. Although advance meters may not be a possibility in Tonga for some time, it is very important that TPL is prepared and knows what it wants from a smart meter.
Through this project it is hoped that a number of options for smart metering will be assessed. Building on experience in the pacific and further abroad it is hoped that the project will narrow down the kinds of metering system that would work for TPL into the future. Of the different options to choose from, it is planned that trials can be conducted on them to better evaluate the best smart metering system suitable for Tonga. Knowing that smart metering is a very new technology that many overseas countries have only begun to implement, it is clear that detailed evaluation is necessary in order to make the correct choice of metering system.
Smart Meters empower both customers to make properly informed decisions about how, when and where they consume energy, not only because the real time data is accurately recorded and transmitted at frequent intervals to their energy suppliers for accurate billing purposes, but because consumers can access their real-time usage and make informed decision about how to manage it better.