Prepaid Smart Card Metering in Schools FAQ
How does one use the smart card in a classroom setting?
The students purchase the smart card from the administrative office
which can be used either in the general classrooms or in the dedicated
classrooms. The student inserts the card to use the air conditioning
and is tariffed accordingly.
What does the smart card system consist of?
The smart card reader is the one that deducts the tariff and displays
the values and is placed in an accessible location, the meter measures
and records the energy consumed and supplies the power, and is
installed in the power panel, the two devices are then connected by a
What is the basis of the tariff deduction and how can the
user verify this?
A deduction is performed for every 0.1 kWh of electricity consumed.
There is a button on the smart card reader which the user can press to
see the kWh reading, from this information the user can then determine
how much was deducted based on the kWh consumed.
How does one determine the tariff rate and the denominated
credit on each card?
The tariff rate is determined by the school administration, typically
this is set from 5.0 to 8.0. The rate set often has a profit margin
included which can compensate for the overdemand penalty charge during
the summer months.
Once the credit on the card is used up, how does one add
Each school would have its own dedicated value adding machine, when a
card is inserted, a fixed amount of credit is added to the card. The
value adding machine for each school is exclusive for that particular
school only and are not interchangeable, insuring greater security.
What features does the value adding machine have and how does it
- The value adding machine is activated by the key card. Once
activated, the tariff rate and the credit value to add can be set.
Typically both are made known and thus need to be set only once.
- Once set, the same preset amount is added everytime a card
- The total number of transactions and the total accumulated
value are both shown on the value adding machine, which can be used
later auditing purposes.
How about the printing on the card?
Each card can have the logo of the school printed with a uniqe serial
number for each card.
How about flexibility in use?
- Students staying for class can use a separate non-classroom
tariff rate card.
- During the summer and holiday breaks, they may use the
non-classroom tariff rate card.
- When the classroom is rented out for community class use,
one can charge a much higher tariff rate.
- When the students gather as a group after class, they may
use a card with a special rate.
- Specially for meeting rooms, audio-visual rooms, music
rooms and gyms; one may prepare cards with much higher tariff rates
(which cover lighting and airconditiong) to compensate for the deficit
in the electricity budget. During the day, the school may use a card
with a special rate. When the card is not made available then it can
also be made to achieve the same end as a means to control usage.