Electromechanical meters (old meters) are being replaced by the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) through a programme being carried out by the St. Lucia Electrical Services (LUCELEC).
Over 6,000 meters have been installed in the last two months, LUCELEC’s Transmission and Distribution Manager Gilroy Pultie told St Lucia News Online (SNO) yesterday, September 3. A total of 10,000 meters have been replaced.
According to Pultie, the five-year long project has been progressing smoothly. The reason for this move, he noted, was to replace the aged meters that measure electricity based on wind path and to re-install the new AMI meters.
“With time and age they slow down and under-register the actual consumption. Those meters that have been replaced are about 15 to 20 years and even older, and that’s the primary reason for this change,” he explained.
The transition will see the replacement of manual meter reading and billing, switched to automatic meter reading and billing.
“The AIM meters are solid state (electronic meters) which do not use moving parts and as such are more accurate,” he stated.
The meters have also been approved by the St. Lucia Bureau of Standards.
Pultie told SNO that when the programme started out five years ago the approach was different, since it was done on a geographical basis, using a billing cycle to transition the system for automatic billing. However, he said: “We recognise that we have so many old meters and we have been targeting those meters.”
According to reports, the country-wide move has raised some concerns for citizens, since the new meters will now accurately record consumption as opposed to the electro-mechanical meters.
There have been reports of increased electricity consumption for most of the replacement meters.