The Power Ministry would commission the Smart Meter System (SMS) for measuring electricity usage from tomorrow, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said yesterday.
The smart meters would charge a lower tariff from customers, when consumers use power during non-peak hours, he said.
Currently the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) charges an across the board tariff based on the amount of power a household or establishment uses per month.
A smart meter is usually an electronic device, that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and communicates that information at least daily back to the utility provider for monitoring and billing.
Minister Siyambalapitiya said the government, in a bid to boost local industries and accelerate exports, had decided to put in place a new tariff scheme for small and medium industries.
Under the new system, small and medium scale industries will have to pay only 25 percent of the cost of power and the remaining 75 percent will have to paid in equal installments in five years.
Smart meters enable two-way communication between the meter and the central system.
Unlike home energy monitors, smart meters can gather data for remote reporting. Such an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) differs from traditional automatic meter reading (AMR) in that it enables two-way communications with the meter benefiting both the utility provider and the customer.
The Minister said tomorrow’s launching of the SMS marked the completion of one year in Presidency and the electoral victory of President Maithripala Sirisena.
“We launch the use of smart meters from the business community first and gradually introduce it to normal households.
“After the introduction of SMS, the monthly electricity charges will be calculated on the data recorded in the smart meter and the monthly tariff bill of consumers will be prepared based on the data,” Minister Siyambalapitiya said.
The 100 percent electrification of the country is scheduled to be completed before the end of this year and the first district that will achieve full electrification will be the Polonnaruwa District.
The CEB will provide power to 250,000 houses and State and private establishments in the Polonnaruwa District this year.
The Power and Renewable Energy Ministry will also launch a national awareness programme to educate the public on the safety and frugal use of power and the importance of using household appliances, which will help reduce electricity bill, Minister Siyambalapitiya added.
Caption - Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya explains a point to the media flanked by deputy minister Ajith P Perera. (Sandun A Jayasekera)