In West Africa, Nigerian electricity distribution company Eko is urging consumers to utilise the Credited Advance Payment for Metering Implementation (CAPMI) scheme to install smart meters on their premises ahead of a wider scale roll-out, reported Business Day last week.
The aim of CAPMI is as a stop-gap measure prior to the smart metering programme supposed to meter all Eko customers by 2018.
Eko managing director and CEO Oladele Amoda said the CAPMI programme asks customers to pay upfront for the meter and installation, and receive a refund through their electricity bills.
Mr Amoda said the refund would be with 12% interest and spread over a period of time.
To curb vandalism of electricity equipment, he said the country needs to establish special courts for quicker trials of suspects and stiffer penalties.
Amoda also indicated that revising regulations on sales of public power equipment such as transformers will tighten the selling of vandalised equipment on the open market.
Deployment of smart meters in Nigeria
Amoda said the deployment of smart meters to all Eko customers will begin soon following the installation of 40 new distribution transformers and 50 back-up transformers.
The boss of one of Nigeria's largest electricity distribution companies said 5,000 consumers are benefiting from the smart meter deployment, which began in early March 2015.
The project funded by a N2,6 billion (US$ 13 million) loan will benefit 400,000 Eko consumers in the Lagos area.
Prospects for smart meters in Nigeria
In other Nigeria metering news, a group of Nigerian engineers are in China being trained on pre-paid meter manufacturing and installation in a bid to improve Nigeria's ability to domestically produce enough meters to close the metering gap as well as boost bilateral relations.
After nine months, the group will return to Nigeria to work at the SkyRun Electric Smart Metering System and Solutions, a US$500,000 000 million pre-paid meter and electronics manufacturing firm operating in the Calabar Free Trade Zone, said The Nation.
SkyRun, which has been in Nigeria for 10 years, employs over 500 local staff manufacturing a single-phase and three-phase smart meters.