Indian state pilots prepaid electric meters

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In India, utility firm Southern Power Distribution Company of Telangana (TSSPDCL) has begun implementing a prepaid meters pilot project.

The utility’s prepaid electric meters pilot project falls under a plan drafted by the Indian state government of Telangana to improve energy management and ensure grid reliability.

Benefits of prepaid electric meters

The project aims to test the ability of prepaid meters in helping consumers to practice sustainable energy usage.

To the utility firm, the prepaid electricity meters are expected to optimise TSSPDCL’s revenue collection through accuracy in power billing and quick identification of meter tampering.

Under the pilot project, TSSPDCL has installed 100 prepaid electric meters at government schools and offices.

The results of the pilot will help the state government in deciding whether to deploy prepaid electric meters at mass scale.

According to the Indian Express, the full-scale rollout of the prepaid meters will be done in phases with the first phase comprising introduction of the system to some 60,000 government facilities.

[quote] The second phase of the project will feature the installation of prepaid meters to domestic, commercial and industrial consumers in the state of Telengana.

Smart meters deployment

The news follows an announcement by the Chandigarh Electricity Department that it filed a proposal with energy regulator Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) to deploy a smart grid project.

The utility department said it requested that JERC approve Rs 49.67 crore ($7.3 million) in capital expenditure to fund the implementation of the smart grid project.

Under the project, the Chandigarh Electricity Department will deploy 30,000 smart electric meters to improve its customer services by ensuring accurate power billing to its residential, commercial and industrial customers.

The project is expected to help the electricity department eliminate non-revenue electricity by ensuring that it meters and bills all of its 197,931 consumers in Chandigarh city. At the moment, the company predicts that it is only billing 94% of its consumers.

In addition to the installation of smart meters, the utility department will also use the approved budget to integrate a meter data acquisition system (MDAS), meter data management (MDM), supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and distribution transformer monitoring units (DTMU). [India to boost energy conservation with policy implementation].

Once JERC approves the utility’s smart grid budget, Chandigarh Electricity Department expects to complete the project within 12 months.

 

Image credit: www.bijlibachao.com.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.