Battle officially on for digital electricity meters contract

The entrepreneurial battle for a contract offering supply-and-installation rights for the country’s first 200,000 digital electricity meters is now officially underway, following yesterday’s announcement of a tender by HEDNO, the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator.

According to the tender’s announcement, the plan for the project, budgeted at 86.5 million euro, is to have digital power meters installed in various parts of Greece –  urban, semi-urban, agricultural, as well as islands. The 200,000 installations will serve as a pilot program to provide operators with experience on the new system, based on a representative sample of the country’s whole.

Areas chosen for the pilot program are: Xanthi, northeastern Greece, with 60,000 digital power meters; Lesvos in the northern Aegean with 80,000 meters; Lefkas, western Greece with 20,000 meters; the wider Athens area with 7,000 meters; and central Macedonia in northern Greece with 3,000 meters. The contract will include an option for additional installations on three more islands: Santorini (17,000 meters);  Kythnos (3,000 meters); and Mylos (10,000 meters).

Companies rumored to be considering the project include Swedish firm Ericsson, Italy’s Enel, a number of unnamed Chinese firms, Greek firms such as Intrakat, as well as Ellaktor, and GEK-Terna.

The tender’s deadline has been set for September 22, 2014. If all goes according to plan and the project’s tender procedures are completed by the end of the year, installation of the new digital power meters, to replace the old Public Power Corporation (PPC) meters, will begin in 2015.

The tender’s regulations, it was reported, will oblige the firm undertaking the project to install the first 10,000 digital power meters within nine months of the contract’s commencement, and 160,000 meters over the next 15 months.

The new digital system will allow for close monitoring of electricity consumption patterns, for both suppliers and consumers, therefore providing the means for efficient supply and consumption management.

A number of failed attempts have been made over the past decade to initiate the pilot program for the installation of digital power meters. The country faces an EU deadline to replace 80%, or seven million, of its old power meters by 2020.