Two Pakistan utilities have started a large-scale smart metering deployment in a bid to cut electricity distribution losses and modernize measurement and billing operations.
Multan Electric Power Company and Peshawar Electric Supply Company will deploy a total of 45, 200 GPRS-enabled smart meters to residential, agricultural, small industrial and public sector consumers.
The AMI installation is believed to be the largest in the South Asian country.
Pakistan smart metering company MicroTech Industries (MTI) has won a contract to deliver turnkey solutions to the project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
MTI has manufactured the smart electricity meters and developed the head-end software.
The company will also install the units and maintain them for three years after deployment.
Commenting on the metering rollout, Ali Mohsin, assistant manager business development at MTI, said the proposed solution included features that are unique to the energy sector in Pakistan such as demand side load management, energy auditing, customized reporting and improvement in revenue collection.
Mr Mohsin said: "The energy sector in Pakistan is surrounded with numerous problems such as poor energy management and inefficient distribution system.
"To deal with these, efficient and smart technologies are needed that are designed and customized keeping in view the local requirements and international standards.
He added: "Such AMI Projects will bring in a new era of technological advancements and a paradigm shift in the energy sector of Pakistan."
USAID began a meter replacement project in 2010 as part of a five-year Power Distribution Program to improve the performance of Pakistan’s distribution companies by reducing losses and improving revenue and customer services.
The objective of the project is to improve the commercial viability of the discos by improving the accuracy of the energy billed to the customers and eliminating the need to estimate bills.
USAID has also funded a meter reader training program at various power distribution companies.