New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), along with Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), today announced completion of the project to replace 50,000 conventional electricity meters with smart meters in the NDMC area.
With this, NDMC has become the first distribution company (DISCOM) in India to implement 100 per cent smart metering solution. The adoption of smart meters will enhance consumer convenience and rationalise electricity consumption.
The announcement was made in the presence of dignitaries from the government, namely Power Minister R K Singh, who inaugurated NDMC’s smart meter project, Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, Lt Governor Anil Baijal, MP Meenakshi Lekhi, Power Secretary A.K. Bhalla, NDMC Chairman Naresh Kumar, and EESL Chairman Rajeev Sharma.
The event also included the launch of smart meter feature on NDMC 311 mobile application enabling the consumers to access various services with the tap of a finger. The smart meter tab has been added to NDMC app’s home screen. The app aims to give consumers clarity on their energy habits and consumption through detailed and personalised insights.
The adoption of smart meters is estimated to result in total annual savings of Rs 12.47 crore by NDMC which include revenue due to improvement in billing efficiency.
Naresh Kumar said, “95 per cent of meters have been converted to smart meters. The rest five per cent will happen in the next 3-4 weeks.”
Challenges in the ecosystem
R K Singh explained, “The most important progress of the power sector has been to achieve the extent of electricity coverage in the nation we have today.”
Singh mentioned that 99 per cent villages have been electrified 17 days before the suggested deadline. “Only 6 lakh homes from four states in the whole nation are left to be electrified. We aim to achieve this by 26th January,” he said. This timeline is two months in advance of the initially proposed deadline of 31st March. The power ministry is also driving a campaign with active helplines to ensure that all homes in the covered regions have electricity.
Sharing about the other challenges with EFY, R K Singh asserted, “One of the most critical challenges with UDAY 1.0 was to find strategies for strengthening the discoms and making them viable. For that, metering and billing must be automated, and pilferage must be reduced. To do this, we are helping discoms replace the conductors of the areas prone to pilferage with covered conductors. It can be achieved through aerial bunched cables.”
He further added, “Discoms do not have sufficient manpower to read meters for the massive extent of coverage we have achieved across the nation. That is why we are going for smart infrastructure. We have launched programs for the smart meter deployment, including 925 crore smart meters under IPBS and about 600 crore installations under Mudra Gram Jyoti Yojna. We are coming with more programs on an opex model to accelerate the switch to the smart prepaid meters.”
Mentioning that NDMC did not have to invest any capital amount in the project with prospects for substantial savings, Saurabh Kumar, MD, EESL, said, “the prepaid smart infrastructure will lead to 1 per cent improvement in efficiency on billing charges and demand charges per meter for NDMC. They will pay us Rs 95 per month per meter, while save Rs 208 per month per meter.”
Anil Baijal, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, advised, “NDMC should now aim to close the gap in services across NDMC area and the rest of the state. In addition, they should also strategise to bring their water supply services into the smart infrastructure, as water consumption per capita is very high and requires to be checked”.
In the ceremony, EESL and NDMC also signed an MoU to install public e-charging stations. The initiative is undertaken to collaborate on promoting electric vehicles (including two-wheelers) in the NDMC area.