Implementing smart meters is one of the operational performance parameters under the Government of India’s Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY). The scheme would help in reducing AT&C losses. It will also help in monitoring round-the-clock power supply eventually leading to greater efficiency and a pathway to meeting the government’s vision of 24X7 Power for All.
Smart meters are part of the overall Advanced Metering Infrastructure solution (AMI) that measures and records consumers’ electricity usage at different times of the day and send this information to the energy supplier through over-the-air communication technology. This gives consumers better access to information and enables them to make more informed decisions on the use of electricity in their homes, leading to reduced power wastage, and providing long-term carbon and financial savings.
Recently, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) completed a project replacing 50,000 conventional electricity meters with smart meters and 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 project was jointly implemented by NDMC and Energy Efficiency Services (EESL).
Within a short duration, 50,000 smart meters have been installed and integrated with the NDMC IT legacy system. The adoption of smart meters will lead to total annual savings of Rs 1.24 billion to NDMC which include revenue due to improvement in billing efficiency. The AT&C losses are estimated to be 12.63 per cent (Source: DERC Tariff Order FY2018-19). NDMC will benefit from enhanced consumer satisfaction level resulting from better complaint management, faster restoration of outages, awareness of optimised consumption pattern, and improvement in system stability, reliability and transparency.
India is making rapid strides in providing universal access to affordable power. The Government of India is accelerating the adoption of smart meters to ensure efficient management of electricity by checking data-entry errors, billing inefficiencies, and cutting the costs of manual meter reading through the web-based monitoring system. Smart meters will revolutionise the power sector through their vast cascade of benefits including reduced AT&C losses, better health of DISCOMs, incentivisation of energy conservation and ease of bill payments.