- Smart prepaid meters have enabled DISCOMs in Bihar in generating daily revenue of Rs 5,00,000 during nationwide lockdown
- States like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, NDMC New Delhi and Bihar have installed around 9.84 lakhs, 1.23 lakh, 57 thousand and 28 thousand smart meters respectively
Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a PSU under the Ministry of Power, Government of India, is the designated agency to implement the smart metering programme in India. Under this programme, a total number of 12,06,435 smart meters have been installed till date.
Emphasising the benefits of smart meters for the consumers, Saurabh Kumar, MD, EESL said, “Smart meters have been indispensable during the current situation, helping Discoms function smoothly, thanks to their ability to remotely monitor and collect meter readings. They are the foundation stone of building the power sector of the future. AMI is a significant step towards enabling power sector reforms in India, while enhancing consumer convenience, satisfaction and rationalisation of electricity consumption at the same time.”
EESL has enabled Discoms in generating around 95 per cent of billing efficiency by using smart meters amid this lockdown and 15 to 20 per cent average increase in monthly revenue per consumer. States like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, NDMC New Delhi and Bihar have installed around 9.84 lakhs, 1.23 lakh, 57 thousand and 28 thousand smart meters respectively. The Discoms in these states, with the help of smart meters, have been able to handle their operations smoothly in the time of crisis.
Implementing smart prepaid meters
The PSU is also implementing smart prepaid meters under its smart metering programme. Smart Meters deployed by EESL have the capability to switch to prepaid mode with remote button click from an IT system.
Wherein the general populace has to adhere to the social distancing norms by the government, electricity distribution companies have not been able to physically collect electricity bills from consumers, leading to dip in the cash flow. However, few Discoms are enjoying the perks of using the prepaids smart meters.
Bihar is the first state in India to use about 25,000 smart prepaid meters. The consumers on an average are recharging their prepaid smart meters with credit balance of Rs 20 on a daily basis. This has resulted in significant benefit of revenue to the state Discoms, while other Discoms with conventional meters have not even been able to generate the bills.
“Smart meters are part of the overall Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) solution that measures and records consumers’ electricity use at different times of the day and sends this information to the energy supplier through GPRS technology. This gives consumers better access to information and allows them to make more informed decisions on the use of electricity in their homes, leading to reduced power wastage, and long-term carbon and financial savings. It also improves the DISCOM’s operational performance by increasing billing efficiency, reducing O&M cost and enhancing the quality of service by providing consumers with Demand Side Management (DSM) options,” added Kumar.