Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) will be expanding their plan for the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), or smart meter for short, to 8.5 millions households in the country next year, starting with 300,000 houses in Malacca.
The smart meter, which is imported from France and the US, is an electronic device that records consumption of electric energy in intervals of an hour or less and transfers the information back daily to the utility for monitoring and billing. The device also promises to offer flexible tariffs and prevent power theft.
Datin Siti Laila Sri Asih S Garieb, Senior Manager of the TNB Smart Billing initiative said that the smart meter will enable a 2-way communication between the device and the central system, helping customers to access real-time information about their power usage.
“This device will allow us to monitor our customers’ usage, helping them save their electricity bills and educating them on our carbon footprint initiative, so it’s a win-win situation,” she said in a recent TNB media tour.
On top of that, TNB customers will be able to track their power usage on mobile phones with an application that will be launched in May. They can also opt for self meter-reading where they check the estimated power consumption and update the information online.
A pilot project, funded by the government, was successfully conducted last year involving 1,000 houses (800 in Malacca and 200 in Putrajaya). This enabled the energy provider to understand more about the technological, regulatory and customer challenges.
TNB aims to complete the implementation of the smart meters in the country by 2021 and no additional payment is required for this change. Countries that have rolled out the smart meter include Italy with 30 million installed, Japan (12 million), Saudi Arabia (12 million), and Sweden (5.2 million).