Electricity Billing Meters

Electricity Billing Meters

An electricity meter, electric meter, or energy meter is a device that measures the amount of electric energy consumed by a residence, a business or an electrically powered device. They are calibrated in billing units, kilowatt hour [kWh].

Ghana uses energy meters installed at customers’ premises to measure electric energy delivered to their customers for billing purposes. Meters of different accuracy classes are used for different purposes and applications, e.g. residential, non-residential, and industrial, etc. based on the accuracy requirement. As at 2016, Ghana had about 3,270,000 customer meters installed with majority of them being manufactured in Ghana, Singapore, India & China.

TYPES OF METERS

Generally, two types of meters are in use in Ghana and can be either single phase or three phase. These are:

  • Whole Current Meters

These meters are connected directly at the entry of the circuit to be measured. They are mostly utilised for residential and non-residential customers with low energy requirements. Broadly, they are classified according to the technology used and may be either electromechanical (also called post-paid) or electronic (also called pre-paid).

  • Transformer Operated Meters

These are meters generally interposed (not connected directly) at the entry of the circuit to be measured. Transformer-operated meters are typically of the three phase category and are utilised for demand above 70kVA (or 100A). Typical customers are large non-residential users such as hotels, restaurants, schools, hospitals, etc. They may also be either electromechanical or electronic.

KINDS OF METERS

Both whole current and transformer type of meters are grouped into either electromechanical (also called post-paid) or electronic (also called pre-paid).

  • Electronic (Pre-Paid)

    Electronic meters display the energy used on an LCD or LED display, and some can also transmit readings to remote places. These meters operate by counting impulses and therefore have ratings of impulses per kWh which differ from manufacturers. The meter has a power supply, a metering engine, a processing and communication engine (i.e. a microcontroller), and other add-on modules such as RTC, LCD, communication ports/modules, low-power radio, GSM, GPRS, BluetoothIrDA.

PROJECTED LIFESPAN OF METERS

The projected average lifespan of a meter both electromechanical electronic, is between 15 to 20 years. Below are images of samples of meters being tested & certified in a meter lab. All meters used by in Ghana conforms to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) electrical meter standards & ISO 27001 standards.