Smart G Pre-Paid Meters To Be Introduced

Mr William Hutton-Mensah, Acting ECG bossAs part of efforts to give consumers the option to control their electricity consumptions, Ghana Electrometer (GEM), in collaboration with the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) is to introduce new meters dubbed “Smart G pre-paid meters’’ in Ghana.

The Smart G pre-paid meters, which are designed in such a way that consumers can charge them via General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), Short Messaging Service (SMS) or smart cards, are soon to be installed in the Ashanti-West Region of the ECG on a pilot base.

Under the project, all existing meters would be replaced with the new Smart G pre-paid meters, which project would be replicated in some ECG’s operational areas across the country after the pilot.

Mr Khaled Fouad Homssy, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of El Sewedy Electrometer Group (EMG), the mother company of GEM in Egypt, disclosed these at a media briefing in Cairo, Egypt.

He said the ECG would be providing the scratch cards that would be bought anywhere on the street ‘’just like someone buying a credit for a cellular mobile telephone’’.

He said the system did not require the use of meter readers, bill collectors or vending stations “because it provides easy method for payment by using consumer cellular mobile telephones as well as receiving credit information by SMS as well as recording events such as days remaining, over voltage or under voltage among others.

“This is a step to upgrade the cash flow of the ECG, as the system being offered will not require any meter reading or money collectors that could result in theft,” he said.

EMG is one of the leading global players in the metering industry with more than 25 million meters running in 66 counties on five continents.

Mr Homssy said, the company was focused on understanding customers’ needs and analysing their challenges to provide customised metering solutions and energy management services that would meet their needs and eliminate their challenges.

He announced that plans were afoot for EMG to go into independent power production and distribution in Ghana to boost the country’s economy saying. “We have the expertise and want to make Ghana a hub for business.”

Saying that Ghana’s economy was rife for serious investments, Mr Homssy hinted that Ghana was poised to establish 25 new factories to manufacture meters and “this will provide employment to the youth in the country”.

Contributing, Mr O. B. Solomon, the Director of Operations and External Relations of GEM, indicated that in the event of any meter tampering, the system would automatically send an on time SMS to the utility inspector indicating the name and address of the consumer in default while meter audits could be performed remotely to diagnose the meter status and identify any tampering.

GEM, he said, was the country’s only locally-based electricity metering company and had planned to partner with the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo) to provide a full range of commercial residential products in Ghana. - Kingsley E. Hope, Cairo, Egypt,
Courtesy Ghana Electrometer (Gem)

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