In West Africa, Nigerian distribution company Ikeja Electric has confirmed this week that it has begun the rollout of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) using wireless communication technology.
Abiodun Ajifowobaje, CEO of Ikeja Electric, told local media that under the scheme, the utility will install 300,000 smart meters in residential, commercial and industrial metering points in the next three years.
Smart meter deployment
Mr Ajifowobaje told reporters in Lagos that 6,000 smart meters have so far been installed since the launch of the programme in September.
The implementation of the AMI project is a result of the successful completion of a pilot scheme of the AMI installation carried out by Ikeja Electric in June 2015.
The second phase of the project will commence with the installation of 10,000 smart meters in October and Ikeja Electric is expecting to reach a peak monthly installation of 12,000 meters across 11 business units by December, reported The Nation.
The CEO added that the scope of the metering project is to supply smart meters to half of its 600,000 customer base between September 2015 and December 2016.
Ikeja Electric also confirmed that its Customer Enumeration, Technical Audit and Asset Mapping (CETAAM) project will run from October 2015 to April 2016.
The project will involve mapping the location of electrical network entities from the 132KV, 33KV and 11KV systems to the distribution transformers and poles within the utility's service territory, a suburb of Lagos.
The CEETAM project follows the launch of an integrated network improvement programme by Nigerian utility Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) in early October.
The programme which aims to upgrade the utility's mapping and metering system includes the implementation of a GIS system.
Metering & Smart Energy International reported that the GIS will provide a digital map that will be used to develop a comprehensive addressing system and allow EEDC to identify its assets and consumers within its network in Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo and Albia.
EEDC will install smart meters to metering points detected by the GIS system.
Nigeria's privatised utilities are moving to fill a significant metering gap.
In January 2015, Minister of Power Chinedu Nebo said more than 50% of Nigerians are on estimated billing.
At the time, Mr Nebo said the government planned to "use its lean resources to procure one million meters so that more Nigerians will break away from estimated billing and make it a thing of the past."
Nebo said the government was "embarking on a special intervention" by procuring most of the meters made by local manufacturers and giving them to electricity distribution companies (discos) to distribute free of charge to customers.