The Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) has set aside about $40 million for the roll out of 40 000 smart meters in September.
Speaking during a symposium in Gweru last week, ZETDC commercial director Mr Ralph Katsande said the smart meters programme is targeted at large consumers like industries and supermarkets as a way of saving power.
He said the smart meters will enable the company to save 40 megawatts per year.
“We have conducted a pilot project and by September we will start rolling out 40 000 smart metres. From our pilot project, we found out that smart metres have the capacity of saving 40 megawatts per annum. The whole project is expected to cost us $40 million,” he said.
Mr Katsande said smart metres will help in remote reading of meters instead of sending meter readers.
“The smart meters will be linked to the ZETDC’s back office through communication channels like radio where they will be monitored.
‘‘Therefore, there won’t be any need for us to send meter readers because that will be done remotely form our back office linked to the meters. So these meters save a lot of time,” he said.
He said the smart meters allow reduction of power supply, instead of load shedding.
“Through these meters we can actually reduce the amount of power supplied to a certain area instead of switching off completely. We can just reduce power supply so that our consumers can still continue with their normal life.
“The meters also allow clients to supply an alternative power to the grid, be it solar and generator,” he said.