We use Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), which allows us to communicate with the meters bi-directionally, and it can be installed on any electrical system, regardless of the voltage level. We can send the meter a question, such as what the current consumption level is, and it responds automatically. If the inhabitant of the household attempts to remove or manipulate the meter, it sends a warning signal that we react to immediately. Through AMI we are lowering costs in many ways. In addition to mitigating our losses, we are able to read, verify, bill, and cut and reconnect electrical services from our office. Another project we are working on is developing a smart grid, which will be marketed in June 2012. With the smart grid, we will have our entire network displayed on a wall screen, and when someone calls the center we can see his or her location on the screen. We will request their name, account number, and a description of the problem. There may be a case where we have many inconveniences in the same circuit, and will therefore know the problem is a transformer. If another person from another area calls with a different complaint, the problem could be the feeder, and we would react by sending a surveillance vehicle. Everything is shown on the panel, and our responders will fix the problem and send information about its cause. Afterward, the information gets updated and the system refreshes itself.
We have been asked to advise other companies with lower development levels. In the commercial aspect, we have installed our system at five companies, and just recently we started with a sixth. This is a policy of the electricity supply sector and the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy. We will continue to help companies attain good business practices and help other companies that are a little behind in their development. We do it because it is one of the objectives of becoming a public company. The objective is to make all public service suppliers work under the best standards and to achieve an important technological leap. On the technological side we will incorporate a new commercial system. The Integrated System for the Electrical Distribution Administration (SIGDE) program is very significant as it is a huge technological leap. Empresa Eléctrica de Quito (EEQ) has a commercial system that is our pride and joy, but that system will be replaced by one that uses the newest technology available internationally, and the same will happen in every area, technical and administrative. It’s a policy of the Ministry by which electricity distribution companies participate and EEQ is putting a lot of effort into making this policy a reality.
We have launched a project in the jungle province of Morona-Santiago, where our conventional electric networks do not reach. To solve the coverage issues, Centrosur is installing a series of photovoltaic panels, and we installed the first 300 in 2011. By April or mid-May 2012, we will have installed 2,200 more panels, establishing a total of 2,500 panels dedicated to producing photovoltaic energy. We expect to install a similar number of panels in areas across Ecuador where it is not convenient to set up conventional networks. Through this initiative, Centrosur is paying special attention to the environment as well as cultures that have traditionally depended on the sun as a source of life. Through our own development, we have also created a marketable system that has been implemented for a variety of companies. The Ministry requested our products for companies along the coast and in the Andean region. The next step is the implementation of a unique commercial system that allows every company to become more efficient in customer service and debt collection. Our system has already been put to use in other companies, but the largest goal is to unify the processes. We will begin launching our system in combination with the Empresa Eléctrica de Quito approach to form a new process comprised of elements from each enterprise. Once the processes are defined we can move onto the development of a unique system.
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