The Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG) is preparing to launch a new device to remotely repair power outage, monitor energy consumption and detect any overruns, by placing smart meters.
This is what Mounir El Ghabri, officer in charge of customer relations told us.
In an interview with AfricanManager, he noted that STEG agents spend between 2 and 3 hours a day repairing breakdowns, a waste of time not only for the citizen but also for the the company and the general community.
This is one of the reasons why STEG has decided to set up smart meters, which will help to avoid time wasted, solve the billing problem and read meters without the movement of staff.
Once smart meters are in place, STEG could easily, remotely and safely, control consumption and provide load shedding in cases where power consumption reaches a peak.
When asked about the different stages of the installation of smart meters, the official told us that the project is currently under study and is currently the subject of specifications.
370 thousand meters of this type will be installed by 2020 in the governorate of Sfax, to be subsequently and gradually generalized to all the governorates of the country.
The choice of this governorate was made for technical considerations related to the company’s electric grid in this region.
In total, Tunisia has 4 million traditional meters distributed throughout Tunisia and STEG will be in charge of programming and replacing them with smart meters.
Regarding fraud, Mounir El Ghabri said that smart meters will help reduce violations, knowing that through this smart meter STEG will be informed of fraud and the handling of the meter in time real.
Indeed, STEG’s losses due to fraud amounted to 200 million dinars in 2016, with 16 thousand cases spread all over Tunisia.
However, he assured that the company was able to recover 15 million dinars in 2016.
Mounir El Ghabri also spoke of the idea of setting up energy police to detect and investigate possible cases of fraudulent manipulation of meters by consumers.
He pointed out, however, that the energy police is only one idea among others and will, among other things, fight against the upsurge in cases of fraud and the manipulation of meters.
“This idea was highly appreciated in Algeria,” he concluded.