Customers of the Electricity Company of Ghana, ECG in the Volta Region are now benefiting from the installation of new and Smart Meters.

The installation of the Smart Meters is expected to reduce illegal connection and also ensure convenience in the use and purchase of power in the region.

According to the Electricity Company of Ghana, the installation of the new and Smart Meters to all new applicants for meters in Ho and Hohoe Municipalities of the Volta Region is expected to ensure convenience in the use and purchase of power in the region.

The Volta Regional Public Relations Officer for the company, Benjamin Obeng Antwi, told GBC News that the Smart Meters eliminates the human interface, and therefore, issues of illegal connection would be brought to the minimum to stop the revenue leakages.

About five thousand Smart Meters have so far been installed. Out of this, four thousand have been installed in the Ho Municipality with about one thousand being installed in Hohoe.

Mr. Benjamin Obeng Antwi explained what differentiates the Smart Meters from the Pre-paid Meters.

“The normal Prepaid Meter in the Volta Region normally comes with a card that you either swipe or slot in before you go and purchase and once you purchase you come back home to either swipe or slot in before the credit will be downloaded onto you your meter. But with this Smart Meter once we give you one, we add a device known as the Customer interface Unit. Once we install the Meter for you, unlike the normal Prepaid Meters, with this one, when you are coming to purchase, you can either come with the device we gave you or come without it, because the most important information we need is the Meter Number. So, you can either take a picture of the device with your phone or write the Meter Number down and come with it so that when you get to the ECG Office you only mention the Meter Number and get served. Unlike the normal Prepaid Meters where you will have to go back home before power supply is restored to premises, with this smart meter the credit is recharged to your meter remotely.”

Mr. Antwi cautioned against tampering with the Smart Meters to avoid surcharges.

“If you try tampering with the Meter, it will go off and you cannot purchase power anywhere. The same way the Meter gives you real time information, it gives our Office too real time information because the Meter records every activity that you do. So, let’s say you go to our Office that you cannot purchase credit and then it is found in the system that you tampered with it, you will be surcharged because that will amount to illegal connection. So, whatever you do on the Smart Meter if you try to bypass it or anything the Meter will detect it’, he noted.

According to Mr. Antwi, 3rd Party Point of Sale Agents of power are now being trained on the know-hows to be able to serve customers with the Smart Meters.