About 85 percent of households in St. Kitts have smart meters installed which are designed to improve the efficiency of the service from the St. Kitts Electricity Company Limited (SKLELEC).
SKELEC officials were guests on the most recent edition of the Government’s radio programme “Working for You”, where the importance of the SMART meters was emphasized. Gawain Fraites, Public Relations Officer of SKELEC, explained that the SMART meters help SKELEC to determine when power is out in certain areas on the island and help the company to improve its turnaround time to get those outlets back online.
“They allow us to know when a particular area is out of electricity when we install them fully or when a customer is out (of power),” Mr. Fraites said. “It would enable us to be able to get readings quicker, bill you quicker and a much faster turnaround time,” Mr. Fraites said.
The SMART meters, Mr. Fraites noted, also help SKELEC track electricity theft, which is an issue in St. Kitts. He however stressed that the SMART meters help with improving SKELEC’s efficiency.
“The aim was to really improve our efficiency….we are almost fully completed installation of our residential meters and we are going into the commercial phase. We should be on our way to completing the project soon,” he said.
The public relations officer spoke about future plans to integrate the use of the SMART meters into SKELEC’s Ebiz online service, such as customers logging online to view their power usage.
“You would be able to see your reading in real time. So you would be able to tell from your last reading to now, this is how much I used,” he explained. SMART meters, he said, can also accommodate pre-paid electricity use, which is something SKELEC wants to implement soon.
Meanwhile, Sanshe Thompson, Customer Service Manager, encouraged persons who do not have SMART meters installed at their homes to report this to SKELEC, especially if the meters are installed in areas other than the usual visible spots.
“We know some customers have their meters in their home…We want you to come into the office and advise us that you don’t have a SMART meter and we will see what is the best way possible in how we can get your meter installed,” she explained.