GPA Defends Smart Meters; GM Says Claims Are False

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First Green Solutions, the energy consulting firm who raised a complaint against GPA, maintains that GPA is using an incorrect equation to calculate how much energy a ratepayer is saving, this is referred to as a power factor.

Guam – In response to claims that the Guam Power Authority is overcharging customers who are taking measures to save energy, general manager John Benavente is defending GPA and its smart meters.

 

 

 

 

First Green Solutions, the energy consulting firm who raised a complaint against GPA, maintains that GPA is using an incorrect equation to calculate how much energy a ratepayer is saving, this is referred to as a power factor. First Green says this mistake could cost GPA millions of dollars…First Green CEO Rick Sparacio argues that GPA cannot take the default numbers from the smart meter additional calculations must be made.

 

“So it seems that one of the main concerns is that ‘oh we’re varying the power factor and therefore the consumption is going up’…that is totally false. The meter measures, we do not calculate, we do not interfere with that meter calculations,” said Benavente.

 

In fact, Benavente says that GPA cannot make changes to the smart meter, they can only check its accuracy. If a meter is indeed deemed inaccurate, Benavente says GPA will throw away the meter and replace it with a new meter.

 

“We can’t calibrate the meters. If it’s off, we’re gonna throw it away, we can only check whether its accurate,” said Benavente.

 

Additionally, Benavente says GPA tested the smart meters when they were first installed on Guam.

 

“We did testing of about ten percent of the total smart meters that were installed within the system. We basically got that they were accurate, all accurate and so therefore that gives you an idea of the accuracy. Instead [if] we were finding a bunch of inaccurate meters, then we would have tested everything, said Benavente.

 

Benavente says that if there was an issue with the smart meters, its something that needs to be taken up with the manufacturer Landis and Gyr.

 

“How it calculates what’s within the meter and consumption, I really don’t know and secondly, its maybe the difference that we have all I know is that this is measured and we really don’t calculate it so therefore, the argument is with the meter manufacturer and not us,” said Benavente.

 

Benavente says later this year GPA will begin testing the islands smart meters for accuracy. He says this was a plan GPA came up with in 2012 to make sure the meters were still working correctly after five years.