Electricity theft is a big headache not only for power utility, Eskom, but for residents as well. To help combat this, Eskom is deploying a number of technologies it’s testing out.
Eskom is piloting the use of Remote Access Terminals (RATs) and Data Concentrators in a number of locations across the country.
These are meant to allow Eskom technicians to remotely disconnect or reconnect power supply to any specific customer without physically going to the power supply point.
“They play an important role in ensuring the safety of our staff when they have to do disconnections in dangerous areas because such operations can now be conducted from the safety of their office. The technology also enables us to quickly reconnect customers who have paid a fine because the technician does not have to physically drive to the point of supply to effect the reconnection,” said Dileep John, Eskom’s Energy and Revenue Losses Manager.
A new computer programme that will allow technicians to remotely monitor power usage at individual household level to detect irregular usage patterns, which can be an indication of inefficient usage by the customer or even a sign of electricity theft, has also been developed by visualisation laboratory at the Eskom Research, Testing and Innovation Centre.
Eskom has continued to implore consumers to report any electricity theft.