Rome, January 20, 2003 Enel continues its dialogue with the countrys main consumer associations with regard to the new, electronic meter.
In the coming days, it will hold a meeting with all the consumer associations recognized by the Industry Ministry and which make up the Consiglio Nazionale dei Consumatori e degli Utenti ( National Council of Consumers and Users), and on this occasion will further develop themes which have emerged from past meetings.
During these meetings, the consumer associations asked for more information and updates on the project and on its technical characteristics. They have also taken it upon themselves to represent problems experienced by some clients with the new meter and, after having asked for explanations of the new meters technical aspects, have made a series of proposals to reduce those problems.
The associations proposals include the extension of the meters present period of tolerance; the formulation of a two-part tariff, which is already offered to clients with a 6.6 kW contract and a new meter, and will be offered to clients with a 3 kW contract once the Energy Authority issues the new social tariff structure; the development of an information campaign; inclusion of the associations own technicians in the testing of meters that have been the subject of complaints.
Enel has offered its full cooperation in the discussion of all these themes, reserving for itself the right to evaluate the technical feasiblity of the proposals, given prior consultation with the Energy Authority.
Enel is substituting all the old electro-mechanical meters in Italy with new electronic meters which are indispensible for the implementation of remote management and remote reading. To date, about six million meters have been replaced. All 30 million Enel clients will have new meters by 2005. The new meter can already be used to measure the amount of energy consumed by single appliances and to obtain ones own consumption data for the two most recent bi-monthly billing periods. Remote management will be in operation from February. This will progressively allow the creation of new connections and capacity changes without calling for the intervention of an Enel technician at a clients home. From July, remote reading will also be operational. This will permit the remote reading of consumption data and will eliminate the periodic payment of balances. It wil also allow Enel to devise special tariffs according to an individual clients particular needs.
Enel reiterates that the new meters read the amount of energy delivered accurately. For example, in the case of a 3 kW contract a user can consume 3.3 kW for an unlimited period and up to 3.8 kW for 62 minutes. Based on information received at Enel call centers, only 0.5% of the clients with new meters have had problems stemming from the simultaneous use of several appliances leading to a demand above the contracted capacity. This is because a small number of the old electro-mechanical meters - because worn out or because of climatic conditions - allowed the drawing of energy above the contracted amount.