With the constrained electricity grid in South Africa it is becoming increasingly more important to use less energy to avoid overloading the grid which could lead to country-wide blackouts. Using less energy or using energy in a far more efficient way through smart metering solutions enable utility companies to reduce their demand at certain times of the day being able to effectively manage load shedding requirements from ESKOM.
Utilities worldwide are deploying smart meters in order to provide consumers better visibility into their energy consumption, to enable demand response to reduce peak load, to manage energy consumption through time-of-use billing and prepayment. Smart meters have been shown to provide benefits to both consumers and utilities, and are helping utilities address modern energy challenges.
To ensure a smarter grid energy providers, by extending their value proposition, are able to improve their customer interaction and consumer engagement at the same time delivering operational excellence.
AMI is an evolution of Automated Meter Reading (AMR) and has the following advantages over AMR, namely:
- It is bidrectional
- Used on a large scale
- Aimed at small and large power users
- Can use credit or prepaid terms of payment
The advantages of this solution are enormous due to the fact that there is very little consumer participation required and it is billing focused with very simple tariff structures. There are lots of opportunities to enable this solution to run an optimised grid for utilities and industries alike.