Once these 40 lakh smart meters are installed, it will enable the UP discoms to save Rs 8,000 crore over eight years.
Energy Efficiency Services (EESL), a joint venture of four public sector enterprises under the Union ministry of power, on Tuesday announced installation of over 5 lakh smart meters in the country, since the rollout of a pan-India programme a year ago.
Among the states, Uttar Pradesh topped with over 4 lakh smart-meter installations in its 13 cities — Lucknow, Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Meerut, Moradabad, Aligarh, Saharanpur, Jhansi, Mathura, Bareilly and Faizabad. Smart meters have also been installed in Delhi, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, under the Centre’s Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP).
Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation (UPPCL) in association with EESL had last year in April signed an MoU to replace 40 lakh conventional electricity meters with smart ones within 3 years with the twin objectives to enable customers to check and optimise their consumption pattern in real time with minimal manual intervention and helping discoms control power theft, improve billing efficiency and reduction in AT&C losses.
Once these 40 lakh smart meters are installed, it will enable the UP discoms to save Rs 8,000 crore over eight years. “Once discoms enhance their operational efficiencies and increase their revenues, they can focus on investing in value-added services for its consumers,” said RK Mishra, the noda officer of the smart meter project in UPPCL.
Commenting on the development, Aparna U, managing director, UPPCL, said, “Uttar Pradesh is committed towards reforming its power sector. Installation of tamper-proof smart meters is part of the state government’s resolve to make the state a more energy-efficient state and checking pilferage, apart from providing better power supply and enhancing revenue recovery. It will improve operational efficiency of our discoms, along with ensuring customer satisfaction and improved service delivery,” she said, adding that these meters will also provide consumers with greater control over their electricity usage and accurate billing and also be able to pay their bills easily through mobile phones.
Taking about the trends seen after the installation of these meters, Rajiv Kumar, general manager, EESL, said that discoms have already started experiencing positive results. “While Kanpur Electricity Supply Company (KESCO) witnessed an 8.4% increase in average revenue per unit (ARPU) during the January to July 2019 period over 2018 revenues, after deploying smart meters, Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam, the Meerut discom has witnessed a 21% increase in its average monthly revenue,” he stated.
Smart meters are a part of the overall Advanced Metering Infrastructure solution (AMI) that measures and records consumers’ electricity usage at different times of the day and sends this information to the energy supplier through GPRS technology.
Implementing the smart meter programme is one of the operational performance parameters of the Centre’s UDAY scheme.