50,000 smart meters for Honduras

50,000 smart meters for Honduras
Image: PNRP

Honduras state utility Empresa Nacional de Energia Electrica (ENEE) has launched a call for 50,000 smart meters and associated infrastructure as part of its loss reduction activities.

In addition the call includes the delivery of 2,500 meters for distribution transformer metering.

The smart meters are to be DLMS/COSEM compliant and to communicate via PLC or RF.

While the intended locations of the meters have not been specified, the delivery is expected to take place within 150 days from the award of the contract, which is expected in December.

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The full rollout must also be preceded by an approximately 100-smart meter pilot.

Bidders for the contract are required to have installed at least 40,000 smart meters of the same type and to have sold more than 500,000 units in other countries.

The national loss reduction programme (Programa Nacional para la Reducción de Pérdidas – PNRP) was launched in November 2022 to reduce technical and non-technical losses and ensure access for all as a human right.

The programme was launched targeting an almost halving of the losses to around 18% by 2026 to deliver savings to the state estimated at more than 3 billion lempiras ($122 million) annually in energy purchases.

“We will not tolerate theft of a public good such as electricity,” promised the programme coordinator Raul Soto at its launch.

Its results to date, however, have been questioned by the local thinktank Association for a More Just Society (ASJ), which claims in a report that rather than decreasing, except in one of the areas, the losses have instead increased by about 3% since the start of the programme and ENEE’s collections also are down by about 11% compared with 2022.

At the same time, ENEE has almost doubled its personnel from 2,163 in 2022 to 4,179 in 2023.

ASJ recommends focussing on the areas with the highest losses and population densities as well as reducing the number of personnel and developing a new strategy.

The PNRP loss target for the end of 2023 is 28%.

In October 2022 Honduras was awarded $250 million from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration for loss reduction and other actions to strengthen the sector to support the energy transition.