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Smart Meters Data
Blog #3

Smart Meters Data

Read time 8 mins
17 June 2020
By HE Mohammad Hassan, Executive Director, the National Statistics and Data Sector
Smart Meters Data 17 June 2020
Smart Meters Data as a Source of Household and Farms Statistics

FCSA continuously works with the United Arab Emirates government agencies and national statistical centres to provide accurate and reliable statistics on social, economic, environmental and other conditions for decision makers, policy makers, business community, researchers, the public, the media and the international community.


In this sense, FCSA is developing the national statistical system in the country to ensure the safety of statistical methodologies and ensure that they conform to the best international standards and follow new methods and innovative practices to benefit from various traditional and other sources of registration.


The preparation of population density maps supports the development of the national statistical system in order to provide accurate statistics for decision makers, policy makers as well as all domestic and international users.


While national censuses consumes governmental resources, FCSA conducts continuous researches to validate and practice innovative and new approaches that shall decrease the urge of conducting field surveys and control enumeration/census operation costs.


The methodology behind the project presented in this paper is developed on the utilization of water and electricity meters data as a source for calculating household density and farm density which is considered as a different methodology from the traditional population density methods however has proven to be a feasible source to derive household information. Moreover, in 2013 FCSA combined water and electricity meters data with the output of the 2013 family framework project, to validate the use of smart meters dataset as a source of household information which may be considered as an alternative to the household census after applying the necessary data processing methodology.


The Federal Electricity and Water Authority (FEWA) has an established meter data management system which was the main data source for this project. The meter database included details on each meter type, location, activity, owner name, owner nationality, unit land use, serial, etc.​​

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In collaboration with FEWA, the meters data for 2 years – 2013 and 2017- was derived from FEWA meter data management system and processed, and analysed in order to extract the required information.

The process performed on the meters dataset aimed to:

  • Include only meters that are active / in use.
  • For each household unit, only one utility meter shall be counted.
  • Identify where the unit usage is residential or farm.
    • For residential units: Identify whether the owner of the unit is UAE national or an expat

The project database and implementation leveraged geographic information systems (GIS) tools and techniques. 

The results of data extraction methods, applied methodology and field verifications deduced that each active meter represents one farm or one residential unit – based on the unit use stated in the meters data management system- and belongs administratively to the geo-location of the meter.


The outputs included two residential datasets for 2013/2017 and two farm datasets for 2013/2017 as well. The datasets were spatially joined and aggregated with different administrative boundaries emirates, municipalities, district and sub districts. Therefore, the digital enumeration and density of residential units as well as farm units were extracted. Thus, the aggregate results for Ajman emirate were compared with Ajman 2017 census results for household and proven an accuracy of 96.7%. Moreover, temporal growth between 2013 and 2017 was identified and mapped.


The results visualisation harnessed various GIS tools and techniques were used including classified maps, 3D mapping, web app builder, story maps, etc.


As a pillar for the digital transformation journey, most federal entities in the United Arab Emirates have established data management systems for their assets and facilities, which in turn feed operational processes and support decision makers. In addition, Open Government Data and Government Information Sharing initiatives are notably promoted within the UAE federal entities. It is important to note that the process of strengthening data sharing and integration between governments varies from supporting the provision and developing the governmental services to supporting emergency management systems, etc.


This project is a great example of digital transformation and Government Information Sharing initiatives within the UAE governmental entities and of leveraging technical capabilities in the era of digital and data revolution.​ ​​

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