Saudi Arabia’s Alfanar Group will start, within the next few days, installing 10m smart meters across the Kingdom, upon its recent contract with the state-run Saudi Electricity Company (SEC).
The project is to be funded through the SEC’s self-resources in addition to external financing. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by March 2023 at a cost of SR 9.5bn.
The agreement stipulates that the executing company must manufacture at least 35% of the smart meters inside the Kingdom, 35m meters to be exact.
The project will be implemented in four phases: first (3.5m meters) due completion in March 2020, second (5m meters) will be finalised in September 2020, third (8m meters) will be completed in December 2020, and fourth (10m meters) will be finished in March 2021.
The project will start in low-income neighbourhoods followed by other areas and sectors.
Smart electric meters carry many advantages, mainly being electronic, so that it can now record electricity consumption rates periodically and continuously send that information to the electric company for monitoring and billing purposes. The smart meters will also allow for the mutual communication of the meter and the electric company’s control centre.
With remote communication, now companies don’t have to send a meter reader to each home in order to get a report. This way, the safety of the meter secured automatically, meaning that a subscriber’s bill will be more accurate and may be provided through smartphone applications, with detailed information on users’ consumption habits.