Bringing smart metering to India


Frits Bruggink,
Senior Vice-President,
Utility Solutions,
San Jose, CA, U.S.A. and New Delhi, India — (METERING.COM) — July 10, 2008 – Echelon Corporation has announced that HCL Infosystems Limited has become a value-added reseller (VAR) of Echelon’s Networked Energy Services (NES) advanced metering system in India. HCL Infosystems is India’s leading information and communication technologies system integrator, specialising in infrastructure projects including power and utility systems.

With an estimated 56 percent of rural households and 12 percent of urban households still without adequate access to electricity and peak power shortage of around 15 percent, availability of power is viewed as critically linked to the ability of India’s economy to maintain its current nine percent annual growth rate.

India’s power ministry plans to provide electricity to every household by 2012 – at an investment of over $100 billion in new generation, transmission, distribution and rural electric infrastructure. To achieve this goal, electricity generation and distribution capacity will need to be increased by an amount greater than that which has been available in India for the last fifty years. India’s top analysts are predicting that power deficits could cap the country’s growth in coming years.

Advanced metering infrastructures like Echelon’s NES System can make the energy grid more efficient by enabling utilities to implement direct load control and demand response programs, limit maximum energy consumption during times of peak demand, and detect and reduce meter tampering and energy theft. HCL plans to market the solution to utilities looking to improve power delivery while reducing operation costs, and to provide revenue recovery and protection.

“Concerns over India’s infrastructure are a threat to its economic growth, and India is spending billions to bring its infrastructure to levels of other developed Asian nations,” said George Paul, Executive Vice President, HCL Infosystems Limited. “Modernizing the electricity grid is an essential component of this plan, since daily electricity shortfalls during peak hours are projected to grow unless steps are taken. We chose to partner with Echelon because its NES system is the most advanced smart metering solution available and it provides a platform for growth into the future. The system can bring many benefits to both grid operators and end-users, making it an ideal solution for the fast-changing needs of India.”

“We are excited about the opportunities in India and are pleased to partner with HCL, an experienced and knowledgeable information and communication technologies company,” said Frits Bruggink, Echelon’s senior vice-president, utility solutions. “With over 100 million meters and significant energy challenges, India represents an exciting opportunity for advanced metering systems. India is in position to make substantial changes to its infrastructure in the coming years and by partnering with HCL we look to play an important role in the market.”