EghtesadOnline: The second phase of the National Smart Metering Program (known as Faham in Persian) is underway as planned and five million energy-intensive agricultural, housing and commercial units are due to get smart electricity meters in two years, the plan’s director said.
"First phase of the plan began in 2014 and so far 100,000 agro-wells have been equipped with the new system," Hadi Modaqeq was quoted as saying by ISNA.
During the first phase (2014 to 2017), 60,000 devices were installed on wells and the number reached 100,000 in 2018 -- up 66%.
The agriculture sector will have priority in the second phase because placing the new system on wells will help the Energy Ministry efficiently monitor water use, Financial Tribune reported.
There are almost 500,000 legal and 320,000 illegal wells in the country, the ministry reported earlier.
Transforming traditional wells into smart wells has been on the agenda of the ministry and so far 20% of the wells have the new meters. More smart meters means better and efficient monitoring of power and water consumption.
‘Smart’ or ‘intelligent’ wells are advanced wells with sensors and valves installed downhole to allow easy and systematic monitoring by the utilities.
Injudicious use of groundwater from legal and illegal wells has emerged as a major problem in Iran's struggle against the water crisis that has gotten worse over the past half century as precipitation declines and consumption rises.
A smart meter is a modern electricity meter that digitally sends meter readings to energy suppliers and ensures more accurate billing.
"Smart metering systems are putting an end to the manual meter reading, which was prone to technical error and loss," he said. Thanks to the new gadgets, consumers are informed about their daily use and adjust consumption.
Utilities in many developed and developing countries are promoting advanced electricity meters for economic and environmental reasons, namely to reduce costs and consumption.
The new meters helped save 1,000 megawatt and 3,000 MW in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Regarding an agreement between government-affiliated Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company (Tavanir) and SATKAB, a subsidiary of the Energy Ministry, the NSMP official said it entails production and installation of five million smart meters in the agro, industrial, commercial and household sectors by 2021. The company is obliged to deliver 100,000 meters in two months.
SATKAB provides investment and consultancy to water, power and wastewater industries.
Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian Energy Minister Reza Ardakanian has said that programs like Faham are temporary solutions to help cut consumption and much more needs to be done to institutionalize the culture of consuming energy wisely.
"We need a complete paradigm shift to encourage consumers to change their [high] consumption habits," he says, noting that increasing and spreading awareness is good but enough.
Energy consumption is subsidized in Iran and it is largely for this reason that it is one of the most energy inefficient countries. Energy intensity in the country of 80 million people is three times higher than the global average and 2.5 times the Middle East average.