Smart meters could be the answer to power theft

Ajay Bhushan
Managing Director,
Prakashgad, India — (METERING.COM) — July 23, 2007 – The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company of India plans to replace its existing meters with smart meters, believing that the tamper detection properties offered by smart meters will help it to reduce non-technical losses.

The distribution company has recently undertaken an investigation of both commercial and residential customers’ meters in parts of its service territory, and on one day alone workers discovered 422 instances of power theft out of 702 premises checked. Recent amendments to the 2003 Electricity Act allow for more severe penalties to be imposed on customers who steal power; the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company says that the level of theft prevents it from increasing its revenue base, and thus improving the supply to its customers.

A total of 25,000 cases of power theft were discovered over the two-month drive to identify and charge those customers who have been getting power illegally.