By Irvine Koech
A KPLC smart meter is designed to communicate with Kenya’s Power National Contact Centre through a remote communication channel (facilitated by an antenna attached to the meter). It was introduced to help the utility provider offer more accurate billing services to its customers. Previously, there were cases of energy consumption data not being read accurately by Kenya Power Staff, resulting in unfair billing. By virtue of its ability to communicate to KPLC’s National Contact Centre remotely, the utility is able to learn about power outages or illegal power connections in an area/facility through the signals that are sent out by the smart meter.
An E-Gauge meter is able to capture the energy consumption recordings of a facility just like a smart KPLC meter.
|KPLC Smart Meter||E-Gauge Meter|
|KPLC is able to capture more accurate readings of your energy consumption, even without sending someone to physically come to your premise to record the meter readings. As a result, you are able to get your bills prepared and sent to you on time.||E-Gauge meter is able to capture the energy consumption of a facility in terms of the total energy inflows. It is also able to give data on how much electricity was used by a particular section of your facility. It gives you real-time visibility of your energy consumption patterns (You can look up the data of any particular day. This attribute can come in handy during a Measurement & Verification exercise following the implementation of an Energy Conservation Measure)|
|The smart meter can only tell you the total amount of electricity that used up by your facility over a month’s period. It does not have the provision to tell you the amount of electricity used up by a particular section of your facility.||Requires internet access so as to be able to access the data being recorded by the meter at any given time. It is best used alongside a Data Analytics Software like the Eagles Energy Monitoring platform. It is through the software that you can actually see how each section of your facility is performing energy wise.|
The screenshot attached below is intended to expound on some of the advantages of the E-Gauge meter outlined above.
From the screenshot above, the power factor trends of this particular facility ranged between 0.6 and 0.68 over the last 24 hours. (This is significantly below the value of 0.9 recommended by KPLC)
This implies that there is a significant “wastage” of electricity. (You are drawing more power from the grid than you actually need to run your machinery).
If these trends are to persist, your facility might end up incurring a penalty from KPLC on your bill. (The penalty will be in the form of a “Power Factor Surcharge” on your monthly KPLC Bill).
When you go to apply for electricity to be connected to your premises at any KPLC office near you, they will automatically issue you a meter once you complete all the necessary procedures. Most people will tend to pay their KPLC bill without bothering to understand how the utility arrived at the figures. However, it doesn’t hurt to try and understand how your facility consumes electricity, so that you can be better placed to understand how much you stand to pay for electricity. If you are interested in gaining more insights on how different sections of your facility consume power, then you are better off investing in a real time energy monitor. You can reach out to us on email@example.com for advisory on which real time energy monitors will work for you based on your needs. Here is a video of an eGauge Realtime monitor installation.
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