Moldova launches smart meter pilot

Moldova launches smart meter pilot
Image: Ministry of Energy, Moldova

Moldova’s Ministry of Energy has started installing smart meters with the first unit installed in the government building.

The programme, which is being implemented with support from the United Nations Development Programme in Moldova, marks the start of the sector’s digitalisation.

Over the next 12 months, approximately 35,000 smart meters will be installed with a nationally representative sample of customers and in public buildings countrywide.

Households will be selected according to geographic location, population density, household size, socio-economic status and level of energy vulnerability among others.

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“Through this pilot programme, we are starting an extensive process of digitalisation of the energy sector, smart meters being a necessary step for the introduction of differentiated tariffs for electricity based on the hour of consumption,” said Victor Parlicov, Minister of Energy, at the launch.

“The era of cheap energy has passed, so to reduce costs we need to be smart about how we consume energy.”

The data collected in the smart meter pilot will be used to develop new consumption and energy efficiency policies.

Following the pilot and subsequent analysis of the data, the hope is to expand the smart metering countrywide.

In addition to the smart meter pilot the UNDP reports piloting several other solutions that could later be expanded to the whole country, among them the EU-funded ‘Rabla for household appliances’ to enable energy consuming appliances to be replaced with energy efficient alternatives.

The UNDP has also reported an investigation carried out with customers of the supplier Furnizarea Energiei Electrice Nord, which found that those who received behavioural letters about excess consumption with energy saving tips ultimately reduced their consumption.

“The intelligent consumption of energy is one of the cheapest and most accessible ways to deal with high electricity bills and, at the same time, to reduce the dependence of the Republic of Moldova on certain imports,” commented Oleg Petelca, head of FEE Nord.