The Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) will introduce a new kind of electricity meter known as Smart Meter that can digitally send meter readings to energy suppliers and end power theft.
The LEC said presently it loses 33 percent of its revenue to power theft.
Mr. Adolphus Scott, External Relations and Corporate Coordinator at the LEC, told the Daily Observer in an interview in Monrovia last Wednesday that because the corporation is losing millions of United States dollars to power theft, the introduction of Smart Meters in Liberia will prevent such losses and enable the corporation to provide additional and effective services to consumers. He did not say how soon the smart meters will be introduced.
“Smart Meters are presently being used in Ghana, Nigeria and many other countries and Liberia is contemplating introducing the system very soon,” Scott said.
Smart meters are the next generation of meters for both gas and electricity providers and they will replace existing meters that still use technologies created decades ago. According to information sources, smart meters use a secure national communication network called the DCC to automatically and wirelessly send actual energy usage to the supplier.
The use of smart meters will ensure more accurate bills and provide better understanding of energy usage with a display that can see the direct impact on bills and make energy usage easier to understand, according to www.uswitch.com.
Though Scott did not announce the cost of a smart meter, he said it would ensure affordable electricity and effective access to energy.
Meanwhile, he said the corporation has restored power to Grand Gedeh and Nimba counties, after several days and nights of work by the LEC team, led by managing director Foday Soko Sackor.
He said the LEC has made 840 connections in Saclepea, 588 connections in Karnplay, and 31 in Lagatuo, for a total of 1,860 connections.
“We worked with the West African Power Pool for the connections in Nimba and Grand Gedeh through the European Union and Ivory Coast, and 60,000 consumers are benefitting from the current power generation,” he said. He noted that 8 megawatts are being used, which would also connect 864 homes in Maryland County.
According to an overview by Mustapha Cisse of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) on the cross border electrification project, 131,000 Liberian (Grand Gedeh and Nimba) and Ivorian communities are set to benefit.
Scott said during the connections in Grand Gedeh, Rep. Zoe Pennue (Grand Gedeh District #1) mobilized the community to give the LEC team a hand. “We want to express our appreciation to Grand Gedeans and Rep. Pennue for the support from the people.”
He appealed for cooperation from Liberians “because LEC relies on its partners and the goodwill of the international community to make power available and affordable for the people.”