100k Properties To Get Smart Metres Next Year

At least 100 000 properties countrywide are set to be connected to smart metres in 2024, as part of the National Development Strategy (NDS)’s collaboration involving the private sector, local authorities and the government.Complementing the Government’s efforts of creating smart cities through Public Private Partnerships, leading smart metering suppliers, Private Utilities Company (PUC) has so far installed 1051 smart metres at Millennium Heights which was recently launched by President Mnangagwa, Aspindale Park, Arlington Estates and Knightsbridge under the proof of concept phase which is now going full commercial.

Chief executive officer of PUC Francis Chitanda said they have partnered with developers to increase their perpetual revenue streams beyond the sale of stands and homes.

“So we have 1051 meters connected in private developments, zero with municipalities’ and we are targeting 20 000 private developers’ homes in 2024, for both gas and water meters,” he said.

“We are also targeting 30 000 municipal water meter connections and we will be commencing a smart city pilot project with the city of Masvingo at the start of 2024, for gas and water metering. We aim to connect 100 000 countrywide by the end of 2025.

“All operations have been in Harare during the proof of concept stage but from 2024, we will go nationwide with proposals being considered in wider cities like Masvingo and Bulawayo.”

A total of 150 000 housing units have been delivered so far under the NDS1, through collaboration involving the private sector, local authorities and the Government.

Under the NDS1, which spans from 2021 to 2025, the housing delivery pillar is expected to deliver 220 000 housing units by 2025, through collective efforts from stakeholders and all parties involved in human settlements.

To achieve the targets, the Government has committed to providing a conducive environment that allows broader Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) participation in housing delivery. Opportunities abound for the private sector such as designing, funding, implementing infrastructure development projects and construction of new smart cities around major towns and cities.

Gaps in offsite infrastructure, water and sewer treatment plants, green energy sources and water bodies are areas that the private sector can partner with the Government.

Chitanda added that smart metered estates liquid petroleum gas (LPG) should be supplied into a home the same way water was supplied through pipes, and be consumed the same way as electricity, through a smart metered system.

“The smart meters will allow revenue collection and provide funds for continued maintenance of the water infrastructure without the resident or developer injecting more money,” he said.

There is also an environmental benefit when borehole drilling is controlled as it helps with the management of the water table rather than every individual household drilling for water. Smart meters will also eliminate the use of small storage tanks installed by each household and save the residents from purchasing expensive bulk water.

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