Despite significant investments and resolutions around power generation and distribution, there is still a huge metering gap of over 60 percent of electricity consumers in Lagos and Nigeria.
In Nigeria’s commercial hub, most residents do not have access to meters in measuring the consumption of electrical energy in individual households. This has caused a series of disagreements between residents and power distribution companies.
In a bid to overcome the problems of traditional electricity meters and address the metering gap, the Lagos State government developed a Smart Meters initiative tagged, “The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020.”
The smart meter initiative unveiled by Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, and the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba, is a collaboration between the Lagos state government and Eko Innovation Centre.
The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020 is expected to significantly reduce the revenue leakages in the power sector, and ultimately improve last-mile electricity supply.
It is also aimed at utilizing the availability of local talents in Nigeria to develop and produce affordable smart electricity meters for consumers.
At the launch of the smart meter initiative, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the initiative “marks a significant milestone in the implementation plan of the Government towards improving access to electricity in the state.”
“It is also in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the UN, which aspires to drive universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030.”
For Sanwo-Olu, increased electricity access is one of the priority mandates of his administration. The Lagos Smart Meter Initiative is an important way for the government to demonstrate its commitment to improving electricity access and reliability for Lagosians.
“We believe that adequate metering of Lagosians and in turn Nigerians, would increase willingness to pay for electricity, improve productivity, and more importantly, continue to improve the living conditions of our people,” he added.
Similarly, Advisory Board Member, Eko Innovation Centre, Doja Ekeruche, explained that a call for application had been sent out to local talents in the tech community to submit their proposed hardware and software solutions using the guidelines stipulated on the Lagos Smart Meter website.
The use of local talents will not only promote made in Nigeria products but will also attract more investors to invest in the country’s power sector.
For Lagosians, effective metering of electricity remains the best option to help distribution companies get more money to pay generating companies and provide a steady supply of electricity.
With the use of Smart Meter data, energy alerts (signals) will be provided to the consumers based on hourly utilization of energy. It would also reduce the energy consumption in the households being installed in.