The board of the National Agency of Electrical Energy (ANEEL) has adopted the resolution that regulates the basic requirements for the electronic power measurement systems of consuming units of Group B (residential, rural and other classes, except for low income and public lighting), in other words, smart metering. The expectation is that the Agency's decision will provide a number of benefits to energy consumers - such as creating the conditions for spreading the micro generation distributed, i.e., the possibility for consumers to also act as small generators of alternative energy sources. Besides this, other benefits include more efficient use of energy since the consumer will have more information about the profile; the possibility of remote service by the utility; the best network monitoring by distributor, due to the consumer-utility communication flow; the reduction of technical and non-technical losses; and the offer of new services to consumers.
The power meters are an important step for the deployment of smart grids in Brazil. The concept of a smart grid is the infrastructure that integrates equipment and communication networks to the power supply system - which, according to the chief draftsman of the process, André Pepitone da Nobrega, will transform the existing power grid in a true "electric power-based internet," combining electron and information transport. The director stressed that the factors that prompted the regulator to consider the deployment of smart grids in Brazil were the need to improve the quality in low voltage service, as well as to reduce losses in the power supply and operating costs.
With the new regulation, the distributors will have 18 months to offer consumers electronic meters. ANEEL's proposal establishes two types of meters. One of them, to be installed at no cost, will be provided in case the user joins the white rate mode - where the rate varies according to time slots of consumption. The other model, a more complete one, will provide access to specific information about individual service, and installation may be charged by the distributor. In both cases, the installation of the meter will occur at the request of the consumer.
The proposed regulation of minimum requirements for electronic meters was discussed at Public Hearing 43/2010, which collected contributions from society between Oct. 1, 2010 , and January 28, 2011, and had an onsite session held in Brasilia on Jan. 26, 2011. At the end of this period, ANEEL received 212 contributions from 57 players, with suggestions of consumers, distributors, industries, sector associations and other segments of society. During the onsite session, 19 demonstrations were held, with submission of comments and contributions.