CWG Plc. has provided smart metering solution as an answer to the Electricity Distribution companies (DisCos’) N30billion revenue deficit monthly due to energy theft, among other challenges.
TechEconomy.ng recalls that at the maiden roundtable on the Nigerian Power Sector organised by Sahara Group Limited held in June 2018 in Lagos, Ikeja Electric Plc, disclosed that DisCos across the country are losing huge amount of revenue to energy theft and government’s fixed pricing per unit of electricity.
Lamenting the challenges facing the sector, the Group Managing Director (GMD), Sahara Power, Kola Adesina said there was need to develop a purpose driven, credible and coherent framework to solve the problem.
Thus, CWG has keyed into the call by developing smart metering solution that will add value to DisCos’ operation, meet and exceed their customer’s expectation too.
Similarly, the product will create multiple streams of revenue for the DisCos.
The Group CEO, CWG Plc. Mr. James Agada, speaking at a media parley with Nigerian IT Reporters Association (NITRA) held at the CWG‘s Head office in Lagos, said that smart meters contain other communication systems capable of providing other services like WiFi Hotspots.
According to him,” we are building meters that can create additional revenue streams for the DisCos.
“Some of our meters come with the capability to provide WiFi hotspot. Once you have WiFi in an area, and you can stream video, you can do a lot of other services. You can run advert which can generate revenue for the discos.
He emphasized that DisCos cannot make sustainable profits with just selling electricity to its consumers without making provision for value added service that could deliver additional services to its customers.
He urged these companies to use their meters to deliver additional services or buying the right kind of meters that can for instance deliver WiFi internet connectivity to people’s homes, adding that with internet connectivity, you can stream videos and do other services.
He added the DisCos can use their infrastructures like poles to provide services for telecommunication companies and make additional revenues for its self.
Agada noted that DisCos have right of way to their customer houses which they can offer to any company who wants to do fiber to homes.
He revealed that the technology as part of its value added services embedded in it can stop power tapping and also monitor and detect when there is tapping theft.
“It is technology that can stop power tapping; we can monitor and detect when there is tapping theft. Then, we can identify where it is coming from and then the DisCos can take action. If you don’t deploy that technology there is no way you are going to stop power tapping,” he stated.
On his part, the Vice President, Corporate Development, CWG, Daniel Das, said that the smart metering solution they are bringing to the markets combines software for capturing data and also the system for helping people remotely disconnect, reconnect their meters, recharge them without having to manually punching the keys.
According to Das, the root cause of non-viability of the power sector as of today is because power is stolen which should have been otherwise billed and accounted for.
He said,” what we are bringing in is a theft prevention system. So every meter, smart or non-smart, prepaid, postpaid cannot be bypassed by simply taking jump from the phase before the meter and people cannot draw power illegally from the lines.
“So it really doesn’t depend on the meter. Therefore, metering alone cannot solve the problem that the Nigerian electricity supply industry faces.
“We discovered and found the problem. As the distribution companies and everyone is struggling to make the sector financially and commercially viable, the root cause of its non-viability as of today is that power is stolen, power is lost, which should have been otherwise billed and accounted for.
“Therefore the theft preventing system which can be combined with metering system are put together then whatever energy that is pumped into the network is going to be billed for.
“When it is billed for, the revenue will improve and increase and of course the sector becomes viable on its own accord because the tariffs we pay as customers has in it accompanied for energy, cost and operation.
“The theft preventing system ensures that no power is lost by unscrupulous means and once you prevent that the viability of the sector becomes possible.”
Das reiterated that apart from the smart meter doing the metering functions, it also give the customers remote view of their energy consumption.
He further noted that the meters are embedded with 4G Lte WiFi hotspot that works on all these banks that are currently licensed by NCC or Telecom operators, meaning that you can use any Telco’s data operator’s sim card on it.
He explained that the idea behind them putting two things into one device is because energy and data have become the life blood of any modern society and that it will make sense to add extra cost and make the meters have two widely used functions.
“In today’s world, we need energy on daily bases and we also need data. Nobody can live without data.
“So energy and data are the life blood of any modern society and we are bringing these two into a single device and therefore it can serve as additional revenue source for the distribution company who is bringing you the meter.
“So it will make sense to add extra cost and make the meters have two widely used functions,” he added.
TechEconomy.ng learnt the smart meters are meant to bring coherence in the system, alignment of all the relevant stakeholders so that everybody knows what is happening on the other side and not the current blame game as seen in the industry.