The Lagos State Government in collaboration with Eko Innovation Centre has unveiled a Smart Meter Initiative tagged “The Lagos Smart Meter Hackathon 2020”.
This new initiative was unveiled by the Governor of Lagos, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and the Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba at a virtual press conference held on Thursday.
According to the governor, the launch marks a significant milestone in the implementation of the State Government’s plan towards improving access to electricity in the state.
“This Lagos Smart Meter Initiative is an important way for the Lagos Government to demonstrate its commitment to improving electricity access and reliability for Lagosians. We believe that adequate metering of Lagosians and in turn Nigerians would increase willingness to pay for electricity, improve productivity, and more importantly, continue to improve the living conditions of our people”.
He also added that the initiative is in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 of the UN which aspires to drive universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030.
In Lagos, over 60% of electricity consumers are still without meters despite the high amount the FG has invested in power generation. The huge gap in meter availability affects last-mile distribution to customers and also causes significant revenue leakage.
A major cause of the low penetration of meters is the high cost of production. Currently, most of the meters used in the country are imported.
In an ongoing effort to address the metering gap in Lagos and Nigeria, the government through the Smart Meter Hackathon is leveraging the availability of bright local talents in the country to develop and produce affordable smart electricity meters for consumers.
The initiative is expected to significantly reduce the revenue leakages in the sector and ultimately improve last-mile electricity supply.
Iterating the importance of power to his administration, the Lagos state governor said that increased electricity access is one of the priority mandates of his administration. He added that it was a key factor in ultimately driving the economic development of the State and achieve the objective of making Lagos a 21st-century economy.
Call for Application
Eko Innovation Centre, in partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, is facilitating the meter design hackathon to improve energy distribution, monitoring and preventing revenue leakage by calling for affordable smart meter designs.
During the launch, Sanwo-olu called on all relevant stakeholders – electricity sector players, technology experts, investors, regulators to support the initiative.
The hackathon is open to entrepreneurs, software enthusiasts, hackers and developers. According to the organisers, submissions are welcome from those who want to make a change and contribute to making electricity supply better in Lagos. It also added that teams developing from scratch or continuing a previously started project can also participate.
N7 million Prize
The winner of the Lagos Smart meter Hackathon will win a sum of N7 million. Speaking on the prizes to be won, Doja Ekeruche, Advisory Board Member, Eko Innovation Centre explained that all concepts submitted will be assessed based on strict but transparent criteria to identify the most viable concepts proceeding to the next stage.
She added that the judges will be professionals within the power and tech ecosystem.
“Judges with knowledge and expertise within the power and tech ecosystem will review the entries and shortlist teams to proceed to the hackathon event.”
Ekeruche further clarified that “the final winners of the Hackathon, in both the hardware and software categories, will win N7million. They will also be a part of the co-creation phase with other experts, and then proceed to the production and testing stage before the full commercialization of the smart meter.”
The deadline for the application submission is August 28, 2020.