The Ministry of Energy starts installation of smart electricity meters, with the support of UNDP

June 13, 2023

The Ministry of Energy launched on 13 June 2023 a pilot programme to install smart meters to measure electricity. The pilot programme is part of the national plan for digitalization of the energy sector and is carried out with the support of the United Nations Development Programme in Moldova.

The first smart meter was installed in the Government building and will help measure and streamline real energy consumption.

“The programme launched will have a major impact on the economy and the energy market and will bring more opportunities. I ask that at the institutional level all the necessary regulations are developed so that the technology we now have can work efficiently”, said Dorin Recean, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova.

Smart meters will measure the consumption at short intervals and will automatically, securely, and accurately send the data to the energy distributor, without the supply companies having to send their employees to physically read the meters. At the same time, the supplier will bill the actual energy consumption, not the estimated one, and will be able to quicker identify and intervene in case of accidents. 

“Through this pilot programme, we are starting an extensive process of digitalization of the energy sector, smart meters being a necessary step for the introduction of differentiated tariffs for electricity, based on the hour of consumption. The era of cheap energy has passed, so to reduce costs, we need to be smart about how we consume energy,” said Victor Parlicov Minister of Energy.

The data collected within the programme will be used to develop new consumption efficiency policies. UNDP is piloting several technical solutions that will later be expanded to the whole country, among them – the pilot programme for the installation of smart meters, but also the “Rabla for household appliances” EU-funded programme, to replace energy-consuming appliances with energy-efficient ones.

“This important initiative aims to start transforming the national electricity grid to a smart one, providing multiple advantages and benefits, such as greater consumer control, improved energy efficiency, cost savings and access to valuable data for energy analysis and informed decision making,” said Daniela Gasparikova, UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova.

With smart grids, customers will have more offers to choose from, being able to opt for flexible tariffs, as the smart meter allows storing six types of tariffs. Thus, consumers will be able to use household appliances during the hours when energy is cheaper. Smart household appliances will be able to automatically “read” the tariffs from the meter and decide which is the most convenient time to be turned on.

In the European Union, over 50% of the meters are intelligent, which allowed to reduce by up to 15% the commercial consumption in the network and by 5% for technical losses. Smart grids are based on the need to reduce consumption as much as possible, worldwide, to limit the waste of resources and global warming.

The programme could be extended to the whole country within a year, after the data on the functioning of the meters and data on individual energy consumption will be analyzed.