TNB: Smart meters nationwide by 2021

Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) plans to install the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) or smart meters in 8.3 million households across the country by 2021.

Malaysia’s largest utility company will roll out the first phase of its AMI implementation to customers in Malacca at the end of this year before expanding it in phases.

The smart meters are electric-powered reading meters that allow daily electricity consumption to be recorded and converted into data which can be monitored by consumers.

TNB smart billing project senior manager Datin Siti Laila Sri Asih S Garieb said 300,000 households in Malacca will be involved in the AMI first phase roll-out.

“Through our web portal, consumers will be able to monitor their daily electricity consumption every 30 minutes. Such monitoring will help them to better manage their electricity bills,” she told the media at TNB media familiarisation programme in Malacca last week.

Siti Laila said the decision to move forward with the first phase of the smart meter programme came after the successful roll-out of 1,000 smart meters in its pilot project last year.

She said 800 units of the meter had been installed in Malacca while the remaining were rolled out in Putrajaya.

The RM9 million pilot project was funded by the government.

She added the initiative is also part of the utility giant’s green initiative and power conservation effort.

“Consumers will be able to gain awareness on the environmental impact by managing their electricity usage. This will educate them on our carbon footprint initiative,” she said.

She also revealed that the pilot project showed the acceptance for such power consumption meter reading technology was across the board and not just for specific group of the country’s demographics.

“People might think that this technology will only attract those high-end users living in bungalows or semi-detached houses.

“But our surveys showed that those in terraces and low-cost houses are also keen to have this new device, especially landlords renting their houses to tenants,” Siti Laila said.

Besides power conservation, the introduction of smart meters is part of the government’s initiative to improve its service quality under the 11th Malaysia Plan.

According to a study done by ABI Research, there will be about 780 million smart meters that will be installed worldwide by 2020.

Among the countries that have implemented smart meters include Italy with 30 million units usage, France (three million units) and the UK (1.35 million units).

“In Asean, apart from Malaysia, Singapore is also taking the initiative to introduce this new system while smart meters have been used widely in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan as well as Saudi 
Arabia,” Siti Laila said.