Smart meter specialist Itron says its residential smart-metering solution has now been certified for use in Brazil.
In a statement published on its website, the company announced that its OpenWay Centron meter received certification in July and that it can now be deployed to address a wide variety of needs in Brazil, including smart payment, distribution-generated and ‘white tariff’ or dynamic pricing capabilities.
Itron (Liberty Lake, WA, USA) also points out that the meter will address the upcoming market requirement for accurate time-of-use pricing and also allow customers to pay for electricity usage in advance.
“As white tariff time-of-use pricing is implemented in 2014, Itron’s residential smart meter is the leading solution to help consumers manage their electricity use and take control of their bill,” said Gadner Vieira, Itron’s general manager for electricity in Latin America.
“Itron has 12 million OpenWay Centron meters installed in the field,” added Vieira. “This meter is proven, reliable and accurate, and will bring significant benefits to the Brazilian market.”
Like other smart meter companies, Itron is keen to expand into the vast Brazilian market and in May announced a strategic alliance with Choice, a Brazilian technology company, aimed at helping utilities in the country reduce their energy losses and increase profits.
Brazilian authorities had originally planned to mandate a rollout of smart meters across the country, but under new rules introduced earlier this year utilities will only have to install smart meters if customers request them.
The revision prompted Bloomberg New Energy Finance to sharply reduce its estimate of the revenue opportunity for smart meter companies to $5 billion, from $10 billion previously.
Nevertheless, the opportunity still remains an attractive one to foreign investors, with smart-meter companies optimistic about government efforts to replace old-fashioned meters with smart meters in the future.