Smart meters are now operational

Dr Meshan Al-Otaibi

KUWAIT: The ministry of electricity and water had installed 5,000 smart meters by June, which started operating this month. These smart meters are for both water and electricity and will help conserve these resources. The infrastructure for the smart meters is ready. “This infrastructure was completed with Zain and includes computer systems, communications and electronic payment systems. Now we are in the tender award phase for 300,000 smart meters, including 200,000 for electricity and 100,000 for water,” Meshan Al-Otaibi, Assistant Undersecretary for Consumer Affairs at the Ministry of Electricity and Water, told Kuwait Times yesterday.

“We expect to sign the contract before the end of the year. The smart meters will be installed by the first quarter of 2020. This is the first phase of the smart meter installation. Kuwait needs another 800,000 meters to cover all areas. This will be realized within three years,” he added.

The smart meter has many benefits. “It will help save power and water. As these meters will be installed at each flat separately, tenants will pay their water and energy bills, which will encourage them to rationalize their consumption. Also, by allowing online payment, the consumer will know their consumption and will save water and energy,” explained Otaibi.
Furthermore, the online service simplifies the payment process. “The consumer doesn’t have to visit the ministry just to pay the bill. This will save their time and effort, as well as relieve the ministry from more visitors. Also, the consumer’s control over their consumption will encourage them to pay regularly, which will avoid accumulating debts,” he added.

The smart meters will cover all Kuwait’s buildings. “The 5,000 smart meters were distributed in various areas as a trial. The new meters will gradually be installed in other areas as well. In commercial and investment areas, they will be installed in every flat of the building and every tenant will pay their bill. This way it’s better for both the landlord and the tenant, as it will rationalize consumption,” concluded Otaibi.

By Nawara Fattahova