Brazil’s energy regulator Aneel has revealed that it is considering mandating a 10-year nationwide rollout of approximately 63 million smart meters starting in early 2011.

The plans were announced by Aneel electricity public services regulator Hugo Lamin, during the 7th Metering, Billing/ CRM Latin America conference and exhibition in São Paulo in October.

The meters would be required to measure voltage, current, active and reactive energy consumed, active and reactive demand, power factor and frequency. Minimum functionalities would include registering the frequency and duration of interruptions, registering the duration of voltage transgressions, the ability to offer both post- and prepayment, and remote actuation and remote reading facilities.

The aim of the regulator is to provide minimum requirements for smart meters and guidelines for their replacement, said Lamin, adding that the proposals were still under discussion.

Lamin also said that an open communication protocol should be specified, and that compulsory customer information should include both the availability and visualisation of consumption information, the value and identification of the tariff for post-payment and for prepayment the monetary value of the consumption to date and amount remaining.

Issues that are still to be investigated include the regulatory (depreciation) lifetime of smart meters and the need for penalties by utilities for not achieving the rollout targets. In addition a systematic analysis is needed on the costs and their potential impact on the tariff, provisionally estimated at a maximum of 2% per year.