The case of Serbian EPS smart meters project, 80MEUR project still on hold

18. April 2013. / News Serbia Energy

Only EPS can be damaged because of electric meters that were not shifted for a decade or so because these in that case electric meters register lower use of KWH.

Even 1,8 million of 3,2 million electric meters in Serbia shouldn’t be used because of obsolescence.

Although these electric meters should be replaced every 12 years, situation on terrain is drastically different- these researches showed. Consumers pay for maintenance of measuring spot, next to consumed electricity and obligation of EPS is to provide good working meters.

EPS, however, doesn’t fulfill this obligation for years- it is claimed in “Balkanska istrazivacka mreza” and they added that EPS and competent Ministry are irresponsible.

Citizens have right to be revolted because of that, Zoran Nikolic, Deputy President of National Organization of Consumers and added that electric meters in Belgrade, Vojvodina and South Serbia are in worst condition, according to data from Direction of measures and valuable metals, state organ for checking measuring instruments, while situation is West Serbia is significantly better.

If old electric meters can really effect bigger electricity consumption and on the bills same way as citizens often think or it is being lobbied again for some audible names to get this replacement job especially because of that job is 60 million EUR worth?

Slobodan Ruzic, Director of Electrical Sciences and ex Deputy Minister of Energy explains for Politika that electric meters that are not calibrated or replaced after 12 years can’t influence increase of electricity consumption. On contrary, he says.

-If 12,15 or 20 years has passed since electric meter was replaced or again calibrated, only lower electricity consumption can be registered. It can’t accelerate consumption or cause someone’s bill to be higher and it is always like that according the rules- he said.

In this case only EPS can be damaged because this measuring device won’t show real amount of consumed electricity but decreased and therefore the bill will be decreased and it is marked as EPS’s loss- Ruzic stresses.

Asked what kind of damage is caused by old electric meters, Ruzic says that these are old induction meters and that nothing terrifying can happen because of that they were not replaced or calibrated on time.

-Meters’ mechanisms are being damaged and slowed down. This is the only thing that can happen. There are no other surprises, especially not bigger electricity consumption- our interlocutor explains.

Zorana Mihajlovic, Minister of Energy, says that new administration of this company will soon replace old electric meters.

-EPS took credit of 80 million EUR from European Investment Bank for Renewal and Development exactly for electric meters- she said.

Electricity distribution losses are from 10 to 12 even up to 60 percent in some cities in Serbia. The biggest reason is exactly the condition of meters, but also thievery, Minister stresses.

1000 least should be replaced in households, but they don’t have new ones because tenders for their purchase go bust for years.

Appeals to Directorate for Measures

1,8 million meters for all buyer categories were not notarized in the whole EPS’s system of around 4,5 million. When it comes to households, 1,3 of 3 million meters were not notarized- it was confirmed in EPS yesterday.

EPS assures all buyers that this is not the reason they are damaged for. It also indicates that every not notarized meter is not automatically improper for use. Buyers that doubt in electric meters accuracy can contact the directorate for Measures and Valuable Metals which is only responsible for determining the accuracy of the work of measuring devices.

Source;Serbia Energy/Politika/EPS/Agencies

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