Presently, in excess of 19, 000 meters have been installed under the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project. It is now expected that the project will end in the first quarter of 2012, well ahead of schedule. The project has taken our Meter Technicians to all parts of the island and all types of terrain. Imagine for a moment, some of the communities without roads, where the Technicians must carry boxes of meters and tread up-hill from house to house and do this day after day in some communities. This year in particular (2011), the Meter Technicians have had excellent productivity.
The project has already shown many benefits, both in billing and system quality. Billing accuracy and timeliness have improved and there has been significant reduction in billing costs. Remote connections have allowed customers to be reconnected within minutes of paying their bills. Some of the benefits which have been most surprising and interesting are in the areas of power quality and installation quality. AMI has been able to reveal a number of areas around the island which needed attention in improving supply voltage to customers. Many of these have already been attended to by the Transmission & Distribution and Engineering Department, and others are in progress.
From the data collected so far through AMI, it appears that there is more work to be done in the power quality area. The system has also been able to detect many instances of incorrect meter installations and a few instances of dangerous situations being arrested before any harm was done to customers or their properties. This has also been able to help detect customer installation quality issues.
The use of AMI for prepaid allows DOMLEC to eventually be able to obtain actual consumption data from all its meters which was not possible with the previous PAUG meters. The pace of acceptance and conversion to PAUG by customers has also increased under the AMI project as opposed to the previous meter, which will help to improve the company‟s cash flow over time.
The benefits of AMI are just beginning to be realized and there is more to come.