Serbian power utility EPS has launched a 60 million euro ($79 million) tender for remote power meters, as part of a drive to modernise the Balkan country’s power grid and boost energy efficiency.
Smart meters will be initially used for large industrial consumers, public lighting and power substations which, altogether, account for a third of Serbia’s consumption, EPS said on Friday.
Smart metering is a key component in the deployment of smart grids and enables more efficient use of energy by adapting supplies to changing daily demand patterns and enabling consumers to feed unneeded power back into the grid.
Energy losses and stolen electricity cost Serbia 60 million euros per year, EPS said recently.
In the second phase of the project, which will allow consumers to start choosing between providers, smart meters will be installed in households, EPS said.
The utility said funds for this phase will be provided through international loans, including 40 million euros from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and 40 million from the European Investment Bank.
EPS serves more than 3.5 million end-consumers and has an installed power generation capacity of 8,359 megawatts. It produces 70 percent of its power in ageing coal-fired plants built under the former communist regime and the rest from hydro.
Serbia needs to upgrade its energy infrastructure, damaged and mismanaged during the Balkan wars of the 1990s, to meet growing demand, reduce future reliance on imports and put it in line with European Union environmental standards.