My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How US$5 million JPSCo smart meter rollout means CONEC Mobile Money for Tesla Motors Charging Stations

Sunday, July 31, 2016

How US$5 million JPSCo smart meter rollout means CONEC Mobile Money for Tesla Motors Charging Stations

Folks, looks like I spoke to soon!

Jamaica, get ready for the convenience of paying your JPS Co (Jamaica Public Service Company) bill via an app come September 2016 as I'd predicted in my blog article entitled “How JPS Co App for Digital smartmeter means paying Electricity Bill via Mobile Money”. 

On Thursday July 7th 2015, JPS Co launched their National smart meter rollout as reported in the article “JPS Launches Smart Meter Roll-Out”, published Monday July 11, 2016 by Mikhail Williams, The Jamaica Gleaner.

JPS Co is aiming for some 20,000 smart meters to be added to their Network at a cost of US$5 million. This will initially be done in the following parishes:

1.      Clarendon
2.      Kingston
3.      St Ann
4.      St Catherine
5.      St James
6.      St Mary
7.      Westmoreland

During the reaming half of 2016, JPS co technicians will be visiting homes in these parishes to change old meters top the more accurate Smartmeters free of cost. This is in addition to the 50,000 Digital smartmeters already installed at customer premesis to quote Chief Technology officer at JPS, Gary Barrow: “Already, we have over 50,000 smart meters in the field right now that we're able to control remotely and we're able to get usage patterns, but we don't have the software that actually allows our customers to dial in”.

Folks this has been a long time coming and it's a part of JPS Co PAYG (Pay as You Go) Prepaid Meter Program promised in 2016 as detailed in my blog article entitled “JPS Co's Prepaid Meters coming in 2016 - Why Prepaid Meters adoption will explode in Jamaica”.

So what advantages do the digital Meters have over older analog meters?

JPS Co Smartmeters with Apps – 3 Apps for Wi-Fi enable IoT connectivity

For one, they're more accurate, tracking ever watt of power used in your home.

This means even appliances that are plugged in will become a part of you bill as out in my blog article entitled “JPS Co New Digital Meters are all Smart Meters - Winsome Callum's A Simple Twist of Fate”. 

So yes, you'll see increases; more reason to plug out electrical items when not in use. But this also introduce the second benefit of prepaid meters; remote monitoring via Wi-Fi, as these smart meters can connect to your Home Internet.

Because smartmeters are billed OTA (Over the Air) but can connect via Wi-Fi,  you can remotely monitor your power usage via a smartphone app as I’d predicted in my blog article entitled “JPS Co's Prepaid Power now in Jamaica - How @myJPSonline PAYG means a Digital Meter with smartphone App for 5 KWh Advances”.

According to Gary Barrow, JPS co will be launching three (3) new apps to allows customers to monitor their power usage, quote: “We're actually putting more intelligence in the grid to provide the stability and reliability that is going to be necessary when we start to integrate mass amounts of these renewables and that is really the start of our smart grid, the primary driver. This year, we're going to be launching three applications ... those are going to be smart­phone applications”.

These apps, which will be launched by September 2016, as I'd predicted in my MICO Wars blog article entitled “JPS C re-launches EBILL Service with Gleaner Online as Mobile Money App a possibility” will allow customers to do the following via their smartphones:

1.      Bill enquiries
2.      Bill payments
3.      Demand and consumption patterns
4.      Energy cost
5.      Estimate of time restoration
6.      General advisories
7.      Instant notification of outages
8.      Real-time monitoring of Energy conservations
9.      Remote control for connections and disconnections

With this much convenience ta the customer’s fingertips as pointed out in the article “JPS says smart meter customers to have greater benefits”, published Thursday, July 14, 2016, Javene Skyers, The Jamaica Observer, expect the JPS Co smart meter Rollout to get off to a brisk pace come September 2016!

JPS Co and CONEC Mobile - Mobile Money Payment already a possibility

Yes you read that right; bill payment is already possible since Monday June 30th 2016 for those Jamaicans who have a Digital smartmeter on the PAYG.

This is being done via CONEC, the Mobile money Platform owned by the JCCUL and Mozido Jamaica as predicted in my blog article entitled “Why CONEC Mobile Money to pay JPS Co EBILL before Digicel Paymaster Mobile Money”.

Check out the poster below.

The functions, including Mobile money, can be performed via one app. what doe JPS co have planned for the other two?

JPS Co and IoT - Building a smart energy economy to Play with you Cat 

JPS co also has plans to make it possible to remotely control item in your home remotely….or just simply play with you cat via Wi-Fi connected devices.

Dubbed the IoT, JPS Co is apparently planning to sell remotely controlled lighting fixtures to homeowners. this may be what the other two (2) apps may involve as hinted by Gary Barry in this cryptic vision of the future quote: “All of our appliances in a short while will become Wi­Fi­enabled and it will mean that you will be able to use your smartphone wherever you are, whatever time, to actually look at your devices, to get access to your devices and turn them on and off”.

JPS Co also plans to start importing All-Electric Vehicles made by Tesla Motors as reported in the article “Jamaica Public Service Seeking To Forge Deal With Tesla Electric Cars”, published Friday July 8, 2016 by Steven Jackson, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This is an exact fulfillment of what I'd predicted was possible, albeit I was more hoping that this would be coming from the Government of Jamaica as pointed out in my blog article entitled “How JPS Co CEO Kelly Tomblin Mitsubishi Outlander means importation of Range Extender Electric Vehicles Needed”.

To this end, they have plans to install smart vehicle­charging stations for electric vehicles, most likely in parking lots and possibly paid by using one of those two (2) apps that JPS co plans to roll out by September 2016. All part of building a smart energy economy, as I suppose by 2017, the GOJ will start the importation of All-electric Vehicles into the island.

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