06 March 2019 - NW364
Mazzone, Ms NW to ask the Minister of Public Enterprises
Does a smart meter notify Eskom when it is (a) not being used and/or (b) being bypassed; if not, in each case, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details in each case?
According to the information received from Eskom
(a) and (b)
The smart meters installed do allow for checking when not being used and whether these are being bypassed.
The details are:
Fully-fledged smart meters (but not all functions are enabled, as the system to manage these will only be finalised during the course of the next financial year) are installed in Sandton and Midrand and split meters with communication are installed in Soweto.
The fully-fledged smart meters do provide a signal when bypassed but these meters go offline and staff are then sent out to investigate, as there is no real time monitoring systems.
The installations in Soweto only provides a signal if there is tampering with the meter but the system has to be interrogated on a regular basis to check for tampering as there is no real time monitoring.
Meters in Soweto are installed in cubicles however these are continuously vandalised and in many cases, staff are not allowed/prevented to attend to the repair of the faults. This then prevents information been sent via the communications network to the system for fraud detection.
There are plans to install a Meter Data Management System (MDMS) that will have full control of the smart meter that will allow the customer to purchase electricity online, customers to view their usage, enable Eskom to see usage patterns, disconnection for non-payment and notification to the customer to reduce usage in case of low capacity. This system will provide real time monitoring.