Friday, March 31, 2023 | Ramadan 8, 1444 H
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Smart meters to enable remote reading of utility bills

The Authority for Public Services Regulation (APSR) said the government has been focusing on replacing old meters with smart ones, which will help in remote reading to provide an accurate reading of bills.

The government aims to do away with the estimated reading of utility bills with the installation of smart meters.

It may be noted that 450,000 smart meters for electricity and 400,000 smart meters for water were installed in 2022.

These details were revealed at the annual press conference of APSR on Monday.

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Dr Mansour al Hinai, Chairman of APSR, said that the number of subscribers' accounts witnessed an increase of 3.5 per cent for electricity and 5 per cent for water and added that the Authority is currently reviewing the fees for connecting water services.

APSR is working on the project's second phase to link the main electrical system to the electricity system in the Dhofar Governorate.

APSR also approved plans to integrate with the Gulf network to improve the system's efficiency and reduce the costs of the sectors subject to the regulation of the electricity sector.

One of the most important projects of the Authority for 2023 is preparing regulatory frameworks for the water and sanitation sector, supervising the restructuring of the energy buying, selling, and planning system, as well as reviewing the economic regulation mechanism 2024-2027 for the OQ Gas Networks Company, as well as following up and implementing the north-south electricity grid link.

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Dr. Al Hinai spoke about the attention accorded by the government to the development of policies and regulations, with a view to empowering different sectors of concern to the APSR.

Al Hinai pointed out that the APSR oversaw the execution of the endorsed plans, through licensed firms, to diversify sources of alternative energy and devise necessary regulations for market liberalization. He elaborated on a project for the spot market. He noted that the project’s first phase brought about a mechanism of direct sale for power generation firms whose contracts have expired, as well as consumers relying on household production.

Al Hinai said APSR is planning to replace 30 percent of traditional power with alternative energy by 2030.

In its plan for 2023, the APSR focuses on sustainability, efficiency, and credibility. These are projected to be realized by implementing projects designed to upgrade the quality of services rendered to subscribers, ameliorating regulations, attracting investments, developing human resources, achieving digital transition and carbon neutrality and meeting the goals of Oman Vision 2040.

The chairman confirmed that technical investigations on the electricity outage in September 2022 showed that the outage was not related to any cyberattack or a shortage of supply or power generation or defective network planning or technical fault related to the safety of the electricity system.

On the sidelines of the press conference, APSR and power and water companies signed the objectives of Oman Vision 2040 in the energy field.


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