Why is there an increase in electricity bills after the electromechanical meter is converted to electronic meter?
The old electromechanical meters do not record the readings accurately, which resulted in the lower readings than the new meter. This is possible because the accuracy of the meter can be affected by:
- Environmental factors such as weather, temperature and humidity:
Electromechanical meters consist of many moving parts that have a tendency to wear out and not functioning properly after a period of time.
- The design and meter operation factor:
The electrical usage measurement mechanism in the electromechanical meter could cause the meter to slow down and sometimes the disk could stop on its own.
Due to these factors, the old electromechanical meters should be changed, especially when it has been used for some time and could no longer record accurate readings.
Between electromechanical and electronic meters, which gives the most accurate reading?
From the *metrology aspect, both meter types have the same accuracy and will give the same readings.
However, according to the normal practice of any utilities, the meters’ age factor (over 15 years for electromechanical meters and 10 years for the electronic meters) could affect the accuracy of the readings recorded.
Note: *Metrology is a science of measurement, a discipline that study the means of measurement, calibration and accuracy in the field of industry, knowledge and technology.
What is a smart meter? And is it safe?
A smart meter is a new type of electronic meter that records electricity consumption and communicates the information to the utility for monitoring and billing.
A smart meter that is affixed with the SIRIM-ST and MCMC label is safe to be used as it has been tested and verified in accordance with the requirements of the guidelines issued by ST.
The Radio Frequency (RF) emission from a smart meter is also very minimal - the World Health Organisation (WHO) concluded that current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low-level electromagnetic fields. More info on RF facts and regulations can be read at http://rfemf.mcmc.gov.my/
What is the meter accuracy rate according to the existing legal requirements?
According to sub-regulation 12 (2) Licensee Supply Regulations 1990, meters cannot exceed 3% inaccuracy when tested at the customers’ premises.
What are the advantages of electronic meters compared to electromechanical meters?
They are more accurate and stable, for the amount of electricity used is calculated digitally. In addition, it also offers the flexibility in terms of design and capabilities of the system.
The integration of electronic meters with computing and telecommunications technology will help the utilities to improve their services to consumers more efficiently.
What are the standards that must be followed by meter manufacturers and supplier for their products?
Each electricity meter installed at the consumers’ premises must comply to the following standards:
- MS 62053-11:2009 - Electromechanical meters for active energy (Classes 0.5,1,2)
- MS 62053-21: 2009 - Electricity Metering Equipment (a.c) – Particular Requirements – Part 21: Static Meters for Active Energy (Classes 1 and 2)
- MS 62053-22:2009 - Electricity Metering Equipment (a.c) – Particular Requirements – Part 22: Static Meters for Active Energy (Classes 0,2 S and 0,5 S)
- MS 62053-23:2009 - Electricity Metering Equipment (a.c) – Particular Requirements – Part 23: Static Meters for Reactive Energy (Classes 2 and 3)
- MS 62052-11:2009 - Electricity Metering Equipment (a.c) – General Requirements, Test and Test Conditions – Part 11: Metering Equipment
Do the new electric meters need to be tested and go through the calibration process before being installed?
Yes. Each meter must be tested and calibrated in test laboratories before being installed. The test is conducted in the test laboratories that are equipped with specific equipment for calibration.
Are the test laboratories that run the calibration process accredited by the regulatory body?
Yes. The test laboratories that run the calibration process have to be accredited according to the MS ISO/IEC 17025:2005 - General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, under the Laboratory Accreditation Scheme of Malaysia (SAMM), Department of Standards Malaysia.
Which organisations monitor the electricity meter manufacturer?
The Energy Commission is the regulatory body for the electricity supply industry in the country, as stipulated under the Electricity Supply Act 1990 [Act 447].
To carry out these responsibilities, the Energy Commission is actively regulating the manufacturing, testing and verification of electricity meters. The Energy Commission is also authorised to carry out the test meter on site, if there are complaints from the consumers.
What steps have been taken by the Energy Commission in regulating the electricity meter industry?
In line with the efforts to streamline the electricity meter testing and verification process, the Energy Commission has drafted the Electricity Meter Guidelines as a mechanism for regulating the meters used by the licensees.
With the enforcement of the guidelines, starting June 2013, all new electricity meters that replace the old meters at the consumers’ premises must be affixed with the SIRIM-ST label, to verify that the meters have been through the process of testing and verification in accordance with the requirements of the guidelines.
In the events of disputes between consumers and the licensees regarding the electricity meters, what are the actions taken by the Energy Commission?
Any disputes between consumers and the licensees regarding the electricity metering can be referred to the Energy Commission, who will act in accordance with Act 447 and the regulations made under the Act. The Commission may also collect information and evidence including witnesses’ statements, if necessary.
Can the users choose to install their own electricity meters at their own premises?
No. According to sub-regulation 11 (1) Licensee Supply Regulations 1990, the licensee shall provide and install such meters as it deems necessary for the measurement of energy supplied to the consumers.
Do consumers need to pay for the replacement of the meters?
No, the consumers will not be charged for the replacement of obsolete meters or meters that are over 15 years old.
Will a notice be issued to the consumers before the meters are changed?
Yes. The licensee must issue a notice to the consumers before the meters are changed.