City metering lab awarded SANAS accreditation


The City of Cape Town’s metering lab is the first municipal lab in the country to receive SANAS accreditation, which in effect certifies that the lab conforms with industry standards for best practice. This lab ensures that data regarding electricity consumption is accurate, allowing for better planning and more accurate billing.

The City of Cape Town is the proud owner of the first municipal South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) accredited electricity metering laboratory in South Africa. The project was completed in three years at a total cost of R7.8m.

SANAS is the South African body which sets the benchmarks for accreditation of conformity assessment, calibrations, and quality control systems in the lab. The City of Cape Town is now accredited as a calibration laboratory for electrical energy, whereby all the electrical meters are certified under specified conditions to accurately measure what is supplied to and consumed by the customer.

In other words, the lab is now accredited to test each new electricity meter to ensure that it complies with the regulatory requirements and manufacturer’s specifications, and to calibrate the meters for the City’s purposes. The accreditation demonstrates that the process used by the City is sound, which ensures that each meter installed is accurate, and that customers therefore do not pay too much or too little for their electricity.

With the amalgamation of the various municipalities to form the City of Cape Town in 2003, the metering testing facilities came under pressure as the old processes and equipment could not handle the new volume of meter tests. The City therefore decided to concentrate on upgrading the lab to the point where the integrity of the metering system was not put at risk. The SANAS accreditation is testament to the way this process was managed.

“Along with the ISO 55 000 accreditation awarded to the Department of Electricity Services in February this year, this latest accolade assures me once again that this Department is streets ahead of its counterparts in the rest of the country,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Utility Services, Councillor Ernest Sonnenberg.

“We are living in a time when monitoring our energy consumption is extremely important. The SANAS laboratory ensures that residents’ usage is accurately measured. As well as preventing a situation where a resident might be overcharged for electricity, it ensures that electricity usage city-wide isn’t underreported, thus we are able to better align bulk purchases from Eskom with consumer demand.”

“I would like to thank the excellent staff of the Electricity Services Department who work consistently to uphold ever-higher standards of service. The impact that these achievements have on a successful operation does not often make the headlines, but this should not be understated,” Councillor Sonnenberg