GPL adopting new approach to reduce losses

-examining consumption patterns

The Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Incorporated has adopted a new approach to strengthen its efforts to reduce losses in its network.

The company’s losses are broken down into two forms – technical and commercial.  Technical losses occur due to the configuration of the network, while commercial losses are a result of theft or diversion of electricity away from meters.

A GPL employee monitors data in the control room of a power plant

In an interview with DPI on Friday, GPL’s Revenue Protection Manager, Mr. Leon Williams said emphasis is now being placed on broader data interpretation.

“What we are doing this year in particular that is somewhat different from last year, is that we are improving the way we do data analytics … so that we are better able to find clues in terms of where losses may be detected.”

He explained that the analysis will be done through a Business Intelligence System (BIS) that extracts information from a database, and will help the company better understand customers’ consumption patterns.

While GPL’s Public Utility Upgrade Programme is tasked with upgrading transmission lines and substations, the programme also installs smart meters to reduce losses.

“We are installing a more modern, sophisticated meter and also how the meter is installed and the type of cable that is connected to the meter would make it a little more difficult for customers to steal from these meters,” Mr. Williams said.

He added that his Department conducts frequent inspections and tests of meters to detect attempts to bypass the metering system, by diverting electricity.

GPL’s Revenue Protection Manager, Mr. Leon Williams

One of GPL’s major projects to reduce technical losses within its high voltage transmission lines, is the installation of static bar converters which are designed to ensure greater efficiency.

Additionally, Mr. Williams said GPL is continuing its monitoring exercise in areas where electricity theft has been found to be pervasive. In cases where theft is found, the illegal connections are removed.

Mr. Williams credited reports from the public for the investigations and subsequent removal of illegal connections.

To avoid commercial loss, he explained that GPL engages customers to understand their challenges and offer solutions.

The manager said individuals who steal electricity may find themselves in massive debt, should they be caught. That debt, he said, is not only in the form of money owed to the company, but to the State through fines and imprisonment.

Moreover, Mr. Williams said that electricity theft can also lead to loss of limb, life and property and cautioned the public against engaging in this illegality.

“We want to eliminate those safety threats and so we are asking persons to desist from hooking up [illegal connections].

GPL’s efforts to reduce losses fall in line with page 26 of the PPP/C manifesto, which commits to providing affordable, stable and reliable electricity to households and businesses.