Updated on June 24, 2024


Created on October 7, 2018


Low-cost metering solutions for rural micro-grids and urban central grid utilities.

Developed By
  1. SparkMeter
Tested By
  • E.ON Microgrid, Tanzania
  • EarthSpark Microgrid, Haiti
  • Engie Microgrid
  • Gham Power Microgrid, Nepal
  • Husk Power Systems (HPS)
Content Partners


Product Description

SparkMeter offers comprehensive low-cost metering solutions for everything from rural micro-grids to existing urban central grid utilities. For remote monitoring and managing the meters, the system includes basic wireless internet connection at the sites.

Sparkmeter is a company based in USA (Washington D.C.) and Nairobi (Kenya). It also develops its activity in Tanzania, Haiti , India, and other locations around the world.

Target SDGs

SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Market Suggested Retail Price


Target Users (Target Impact Group)

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Distributors / Implementing Organizations

The solution is directly implemented by SparkMeter personnel. The team travels globally meeting with utilities and end users, installing and maintaining microgrids.

Competitive Landscape

Direct competitors include Lumeter PAYG Technology.

Manufacturing/Building Method

The solution uses a base station and meters, each one uses different manufacturing methods depending on the specific model.

Intellectural Property Type


User Provision Model

Direct sales to utility companies (central grid utility or a microgrid developer)

Distributions to Date Status

SparkMeter is supporting connections in 22 countries. Of those, over a dozen countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are using their smart metering systems for microgrids.

Telecommunication service required (Y/N)

Yes, low-bandwidth internet connection

Communication protocol used

Configurable one-way or two-way SMS communications with customers: low balance warning, balance inquiry, payment confirmation, etc.

Permanent network connectivity required (Y[specify]/N)


Type of data collected

Energy consumption

Propietary hardware used (Y/N)


Sensors used (Y/N)


Open source code (Y/N)


Open source data (Y/N/ Other)


Operating system and version


Power requirements



Remote energy consumption metering

Remote system diagnostics available (Y/N)

Yes, remote management system

Design Specifications

  • Demand-Side Management and Tariffs
    • Smart Load Limiting
    • Unlimited, Fully Customizable Tariffs
  • Revenue Protection and Loss Monitoring
  • Real Time Monitoring and Control
    • Detailed technical & financial data
  • Versatile Payments and Billing
    • Choose prepay or postpay – in one click
    • Versatile sales process
    • Full Traceability and Accountability
  • Two Way Communications
    • Robust, local wireless network
    • Remote management

Product Schematics

Technical Support

Provided by the manufacturer

Replacement Components




Manufacturer Specified Performance Parameters

  • Reduce non-technical loss
  • Increase availability and reliability
  • Improve cost recovery and eliminate metering and billing costs

Vetted Performance Status

A utility can expect payback of <2 years consumers who use just 2 USD of electricity per month. A payback of <1 year is achievable when serving customers purchasing just 4 USD per month.



Complementary Technical Systems

Data collected over SparkMeter's built-in wireless mesh network is uploaded over a low-bandwidth internet connection to SparkMeter’s cloud. Utilities can use ThunderCloud software application, to monitor system operations and set controls for load limiting, demand response, and pricing that synchronize with the meters on the ground. In addition to functionality in the cloud, the utility can login locally to a base station on the ground for full access to ThunderCloud software on-site with no internet connection.

Academic Research and References

Buevich, M., Schnitzer, D., Escalada, T., Jacquiau-Chamski, T. and Rowe, A., 2014,  Fine-Grained Remote Monitoring, Control and Pre-Paid Electrical Service in Rural Microgrids, 13th international symposium on Information processing in sensor networks, IEEE Press, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 1-12.

Buevich, M., Zhang, X., Schnitzer, D., Escalada, T., Jacquiau-Chamski, A., Thacker, J. and Rowe A., 2015, Short Paper: Microgrid Losses: When the Whole is Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts, Proceedings of the 2nd ACM International Conference on Embedded Systems for Energy-Efficient Built Environments, New York, NY, USA, 95-98.

Musoni, M., Kayondo B., Muramira, H. and Ruzindana, I., 2017 Assessment of Radio Frequency Spectrum and regulation in Sub-Saharan Africa, University of Rwanda, Department of ICT, Kigali, Rwanda

Bhattarai, D. and Basnet, B., 2016, Opportunities for Real-time Monitoring, Control and Payment Technologies for Microgrids: A Case Study of Operational Systems in Nepal, Practical Action, pp. 3

“Resources.” n.d. Sparkmeter.Io. Accessed June 24, 2024. https://www.sparkmeter.io/collections/resources

“SparkMeter – Contact Us.” n.d. Sparkmeter.Io. Accessed June 24, 2024. https://www.sparkmeter.io/company/contact-us#workwithsparkmeter

“Goal 7.” n.d. Sdgs.Un.Org. Accessed June 24, 2024. https://sdgs.un.org/goals/goal7

“SparkMeter – For Reliable, Clean and Efficient Electricity.” n.d. Sparkmeter.Io. Accessed June 24, 2024. https://www.sparkmeter.io/

Coffey, 1937 E. n.d. “Ays Air E.” Googleapis.Com. Accessed June 24, 2024. https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/a4/9a/23/4d64f4b1fb3fbb/US2100837.pdf

“Resources.” n.d. Sparkmeter.Io. Accessed June 24, 2024. https://www.sparkmeter.io/collections/resources

“- EnergyNet Corporate Site.” n.d. EnergyNet Corporate Site. Accessed June 24, 2024. https://energynet.co.uk/webfm_send/1909

“SparkMeter – Contact Us.” n.d. Sparkmeter.Io. Accessed June 24, 2024. https://www.sparkmeter.io/company/contact-us#generalinquiries

Compliance with regulations

Allows tariff customization to comply with local regulations.

Evaluation methods

The following aspects were evaluated: Response times with real-time monitoring Ability to detect instances of energy theft Location of occurrences of energy theft Savings on existing revenue protection programs Rates of customer payment Outages from brownouts and blackouts Asset life of grid equipment, including transformers, substations, and inverters through reducing outages and restoration costs Elimination of manual meter reading costs Accuracy of customer meter reads and billing through automation Effect on fraud and tampering of data on customer consumption and payments through our secure database

Other Information


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