Copperbelt Energy reduces troubleshooting time by 75 percent

By measuring electricity quality, the Zambian electricity company The Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc (CEC) can comply with current requirements and standards. At the same time, they reduce their costs considerably.

“After extensive testing and evaluation, we chose to invest in Metrum as our supplier”, says James Sakala, Senior Engineer at CEC. Their products meet our requirements, with excellent specifications and user-friendly software. Moreover, we are impressed by the knowledge and service level of their support team.

CEC initially wanted to invest in Metrum’s solutions to enable faster and easier reporting to the Zambian energy market regulator, the Energy Regulation Board (ERB). Metrum has developed a bespoke solution including a large number of power quality meters of type PQ140/PQR, with associated software. The agreement was signed in December 2015 and so far 70 meters have been installed in the CEC network.

“CEC is investing for the long term and would like to install Metrum’s power quality meter in all measuring points. We will work together in close cooperation with our customers to achieve the best results possible,” says Ola Karlsson, International Business Development Manager at Metrum.

Reduction in time spent troubleshooting

Metrum’s installations mean big savings for CEC. Less time and effort is spent identifying and handling errors and thus reducing the need for troubleshooting staff. Even transport related to troubleshooting and servicing is reduced.

“We have reduced troubleshooting periods by 75%, saving large sums of money in our business. It is above all due to prevention work, which has become more efficient and accurate using Metrum’s products,” explains James Sakala.

Using the new system, CEC can identify problems in the electricity network in a more systematic and reliable way. They can, for example, quickly determine if a particular problem is caused by disturbances in the electricity grid or if it is linked to a customer’s equipment or machines. It allows them to be more proactive in relation to their customers, with clear information and custom offers that can be profitable for both parties.

“Our customers definitely see that we can better monitor them and that we work more proactively than previously,” says James Sakala. It is also something that is appreciated.

Simple reporting to the regulator

With Metrum’s meter in place, CEC has a much easier procedure for reporting to the regulator ERB, which also enables them to avoid unnecessary penalties. Metrum’s system also provides a better overview and understanding of the need for investment in the electricity grid.

“The software automatically generates reports and also provides real-time information about anomalies in the network as well as who is responsible for what happens,” says James Sakala. It helps us to understand how problems can be addressed and even prevented in the future.

“Cooperation with Metrum has worked very well. They supply high quality products and we are also very pleased with the service, support and training they have delivered. Metrum is a long term partner who is important to us,” says James Sakala.

Results of the collaboration
  • Good process for regulator reporting
  • Information about problems in the grid
  • Troubleshooting time reduced by 75 percent

The Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc (CEC) is an independent energy company based in Zambia. The company distributes electricity and fibre-based telecommunications to its customers in Zambia and several other African countries south of the Sahara. A transmission and distribution network of around 1,000 km of overhead power lines and electricity network carrying capacity in excess of 700 MW.

Read more about Copperbelt Energy