Progression Towards Smart Electricity Metering in India

Power is one of the most critical components for the economic growth of any country. With the production of more than 1500 TWh, India’s power sector is one of the most diversified in the world, which has has progressed over last seven decades along with country’s economic growth. In recent years, the demand for electricity has increased significantly across India owing to various factors which include rapid urbanization, expansion in industrial activity, increasing number of households and increase in per-capita usage energy consumption. As power consumption is increasing significantly, the power sector in India is set to progress towards more efficient, flexible and intelligent energy-distribution networks.

Initiatives: In March 2015, the Government of India established National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM) with the aim to increase the affordability and other benefits to citizens. NSGM has been in operational since January 2016.  The first step of NSGM is to the creation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) i.e smart meter. These smart meters operate based on the GPRS technology, which will minimize capital costs, boost efficiency in billing & payment, and expected to reduce the aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses.

Advanced Metering Infrastructure

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) is an integrated network of smart meters, communications networks, and data management systems that allows two-way communication between utilities and customers. Smart electricity meter offers various benefits to customers which includes control of energy consumption, historical and real time consumption pattern, improved accuracy & flexibility in billing and payment. Moreover, these smart meters eliminates the need for on-site meter reading, and eliminates power thefts which will significantly reduce the operating cost of utilities.

Recent Developments

January 2019 – The MoS (IC) for Power and New and Renewable Energy, Shri Raj Kumar, announced the completion of the project to replace 50,000 conventional electricity meters with smart meters in the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). With the adoption of Smart Meters NDMC is expected to save Rs. 12.47 crores, which include improvement in billing efficiency.

November 2018 – Uttar Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (UPERC) announced that it has approved the petition filed by Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd. (UPPCL) for the roll out of smart meters in the state

October 2018 – Asian Development Bank (ADB) has successfully completed the pilot phase – deployment of satellite-based smart meter across 5,000 households in Varanasi

– Delsingh,
ICT – Research Analyst,
Infoholic Research