ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Electricity installed 41,000 new metering units across the capital of Erbil as part of energy-efficiency efforts that began on Aug.2019.
Umed Mohammed, the spokesperson for the Ministry, told Kurdistan 24 that “installing new smart electricity meters is the only way to control the consumption of electricity efficiently.”
Mohammed also mentioned that ,so far, “292,000 users have been surveyed and in 18 months, the installation of the new meters would be completed, which will reduce annual government expenses on electricity.”
In July 2018, then-Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani announced in a press conference that the KRG would install a new smart metering system, which would, in turn, contribute to the rationing of electricity consumption. He called on media outlets to help raise awareness for energy efficiency and promote a culture of mindful electricity use in Kurdistan.
The smart meter project also aims to mitigate energy shortages plaguing the region and solve the already existing issues with electricity distribution.
“The cost of the project is more than $300 million dollars, and the users will not be charged anything,” added Mohammed.
The Kurdistan Region has nine power stations with a total capacity of 2700 MW at maximum output. However, demand growth has outpaced available supply, which has slacked mainly due to the 2014 financial crisis; the work of several power stations had been suspended as gasoline supplies to companies were irregular.
The Kurdistan Region, though faring better than the rest of Iraq, has had to supplement the shortcomings of the national system with locally installed generators with limited capacity, not designed to handle high-wattage usage.
Editing by Nadia Riva