Remote Meters for Costa Rica Electrical Companies
Costa Rica Solar Solutions is known to try to overcome obstacles and find solutions for problems for our clients. Regarding remote meters many of our clients to fit into a category that needs them because of the location of their luxury homes. Therefore CRSS is a leader in the industry and found suppliers in Costa Rica for the meters, when the power companies stated it would take nine months or more to get them from their suppliers.
With the new MINAE and ARESP policy for the 49% rule for net metering, the system is required to have two utility meters. One of the meters is a bi-directional meter that replaces the current utility meter. The bi-directional meter measures current coming and going from the grid. The second meter is what we call the power meter, which reads the amount of energy that the solar system produces. The power meter is placed between the inverter and the circuit breaker box. MINAE and ARESP rules do not say that any of the meters must be remote or give any guidance to where the meters need to be place, just that the power meter must be connected between the solar system and the circuit breaker box. However, each electric company has other qualifications and passed laws that are interpreted differently.
Each electrical company has their own policy
One old Costa Rican law requires that the utility meter must be at the edge of the property line, this law was passed a long time ago way before they had today’s technology and has no bearing on the power meter. ICE requires that you have both meters out to the property line or both meters must be remotely read. CNFL requires that if the power meter is inside of the property only that meter must be remotely read. CNFL gives you three options for remote reading, ICE only gives you one option! Once you do purchase the meters, they are sent to the power company for calibration and then they are installed. The meters are signed over to the power company and it will be their responsibility to maintain them. The power company might charge for a insurance policy for the meters.
Four types of remotely read meters and the costs.
In other countries, the electric companies will install remote read meters so they don’t spend money on human meter readers. In Costa Rica, the electric companies see it as a loss of jobs and cheaper for humans to read the meters. There are four types, 1. Ethernet, 2. Repeater, 3G and Radio Frequency (RF).
- Ethernet meters connect to the web by your normal house hold either net but require a IP address information and Mask information. This is normally around $1,200. Per meter from a local distributer named Elmec.
- Repeater remote read meters have a digital display that is placed out by the utility meter that repeats the information from the meter by the power meter. (this is the most economical method) This is normally around $400. Per meter from a local distributer named Elmec.
- 3G remote meter, connects to the web by a normal phone chip with a prepaid plan. It has a 3G modem that sends the data from the meter to the electric company. This is normally around $1,800. Per meter from a local distributer named Elmec.
- RF meters are for systems that might have more than two meters, such as two solar systems in the same community. The RF meters send the information to a collection point and then sends the information to the power company. This is normally around $2,500. For the repeater and $300.0 per meter from a local distributer named Elmec.
You will only need a meter if your house or system is more than 50 meters from the property line and depending on cable runs for the AC from the circuit breaker box or in a situation where the meter reader can’t read the meter.