Metering service provider concepts – Outsourcing the complete value chain of meter procurement, maintenance, reading and more

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Conference: Metering, Billing/CRM India
Location: New Delhi, India
Presenter: Durga Prasad
Abstract: Presented by Durga Prasad at Metering, Billing/CRM India

Today there is huge gap between demand and supply of power due to various reasons like the lack of infrastructure facilities, majority of utilities still under government ownership, procedure delays and system deficiencies. Though Government of India had launched several initiatives such as APDRP, to improve overall performance of distribution sector and customer satisfaction, much needs to be done with regards to deregulation and privatization process, one of the key issues being introduction of Metering Service Provider concept.

Typically in India 30 to 40 % of the meter readings are based on assessment due to shortage and poor quality of meters and tampering by certain sections of consumers resulting in huge commercial losses for Utilities. Even if the meters are available many of the utilities are suffering from slow roll overs of installation and maintenance   due to shortage of   O&M staff resulting in non replacement of defective meters in time.

To address above issues only one answer is “outsourcing the complete value chain of meter procurement, maintenance, reading and submission of the energy data”. In this case the contractor undertaking this job will have the liberty of choosing apt technology, assurance of the quality maintenance and more so accountability. From the Utility point of view there will be lot improvement of  overall performance in terms of earning higher revenues due to improved billing efficiency, minimal commercial losses, spare man power who can be retrained for deployment in other core competency areas.. Under this arrangement utility will be making the payment to the contractor based on the true meter reading with the allowance of minimum deviation as per the set norms.  Consumers will also get benefited by this concept due to accurate bills resulting in minimal complaints.

While introducing this model critical care must be exercised in addressing the issues   like proper sealing, authorization to change meter and calibration of meters etc., Suitable mechanisms covering penalty and rewards of the scheme need to be evolved   for the successful implementation of this model, in accomplishing the prime objectives of reduction of commercial losses, improved financial health of the utilities.