Smart meters help discoms trim losses in Delhi, Meerut

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Published: July 30, 2019 1:39 AM

Intervention of technology in power distribution has started showing its effect with revenue rising from consumers in New Delhi, Meerut and Kanpur after installation of smart meters.

Average revenue from consumers in Kanpur — unpopular for its power pilferage — has increased by almost 9% to Rs 1,923.

Intervention of technology in power distribution has started showing its effect with revenue rising from consumers in New Delhi, Meerut and Kanpur after installation of smart meters.

According to the Energy Efficiency Services (EESL), the average monthly revenue from consumers in high-loss making areas in Meerut has increased by more than 21% to Rs 1,260 after the new meters were installed. Average revenue from consumers in Kanpur — unpopular for its power pilferage — has increased by almost 9% to Rs 1,923. There was a 15% rise in revenue from 24,000 consumers in the New Delhi Municipal Council area.

“Smart meters are helping to get rid of numerous disputes which usually hold back payments,” Saurabh Kumar, managing director, EESL, told FE. “The apprehension of connections getting severed remotely, thanks to smart meters, are also improving payment discipline,” Kumar added.

EESL charges Rs 75-95 a month for the upkeep of smart meters. As many as 4.5 lakh smart meters have been installed in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh.

Large scale rollout of smart meters is seen to reduce the aggregate technical and commercial losses — an indicator of pilferage — of power distribution companies (discoms) by improving billing and collection through removal of manual intervention and reducing meter tampering by consumers.

The power ministry envisages conversion of all existing meters into smart-pre-paid mode by the end of FY22. Removal of manual intervention in metering is expected to reduce losses of discoms by improving billing and collection. Power minister RK Singh had earlier pointed out that extensive penetration of pre-paid and smart meters would change the “eco-system of electricity” by making power connection viable for the poor.

EESL recently awarded a contract, valued at 69 million euro (about Rs 534 crore in current forex environment), to French power utility EDF Energy to install 50 lakh smart meters.

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