New NMi testing services for prepayment Electricity Meters

Prepayment electricity meters have millions of users around the world and are becoming especially popular in developing countries like Africa. There the energy consumption is growing but the low or middle-income of most of the population results in difficult-to-pay bills.

To offer the certification services for prepayment meters, in 2017 NMi widened their ISO 17025 scope with the IEC 62055-31 and SANS 1524-1 norms, respectively the international and South African standard for Payment electricity meters.

Involvement of NMi

The involvement of NMi with the new standards started from the request of a new customer, Unique Technology, for the approval of a payment meter meant for the South African market.

Based on the knowledge on IEC 62052-11 and IEC 62053-21, NMi started the development of this new service. There were quite some challenges: new norms, tests, meters type, measuring partners and still two new accreditations to get. However, after successful implementation NMi released the first certificate of conformity with the new payment meters norms in February 2018.

Arieh Eytan in the name of Unique technology says:

I am glad Unique received the certification. I would like to thank NMi approval experts, without their guidance and assistance we could not have achieved this goal.

But, what is a prepayment meter, how does it work?

A prepayment meter is an electricity meter with an additional functionality that can be operated and controlled to allow the flow of energy according to the agreed payment mode. In the prepayment mode, an automatic interruption occurs by means of a supply control switch when available credit is exhausted.

Practically, the consumer pays in advance the energy bill by purchasing a physical or virtual token and inserts this into the token carrier interface creating a credit of energy. When the energy is consumed, this credit diminishes to zero, the switch opens, and the energy provision stops.

This operation helps utilities not only to insure a paid bill but also to reserve the purchased energy and, as a consequence, to guarantee the continuation of energy supply. The consumer, on the other hand, can better control the energy use and avoid accumulating debts.

Conclusion:

The Utility team at NMi is ready and willing to assist manufacturers with the testing and certification of their prepayment electricity meters with short certification times and competitive prices. This is a great opportunity for our customers to have their meters certified in growing energy countries like Africa or other markets where prepayment meters are applied. Do you want to know more about this new service? You can call NMi at +31 88 636 2332 or mail us nmi@nmi.nl.

 

Henri Schouten

Henri Schouten

Business Development Manager Utilities, Worldwide

Expert for all utility residential meters (electricity/ gas/ water/ heat). Member/ chairman of multiple IEC, CENELEC, OIML and WELMEC groups. Chairman of the Dutch mirrorgroup NEC13. One of the writers of OIML R137.