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Telangana power regulator for rapid deployment of smart meters

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on March 01, 2021

A consumer need not pay any amount for replacement of existing normal meter with smart prepaid meter

The Telangana Electricity regulatory Commission is keen that the power utilities and distribution companies in the State take up rapid deployment of smart meters and eventually smart grids as a part of streamlining the functioning of the electricity supply network.

T Sriranga Rao, Chairman of Telangana Electricity Regulatory Commission, said, “After successful pilot projects, we are keen on implementation of smart meters which will ensure that the losses are totally plugged while strengthening the utilities and discoms financially.”

In an exclusive interaction with Business Line, he said, “The focus is on mass adoption of smart meters which will enable better integration of renewable energy sources into the grid and create new markets for goods and services to support smart metering efforts.”

What are the time scales for implementing of smart, prepaid meters in Telangana?

TSSPDCL (Telengana State Southern Power Distribution Company Ltd) has implemented and commissioned 8,800 smart meters in Jeedimetla Smart grid Project with all smart metering functionalities. In Telangana there are over 1.2 crore connections to replace the existing meters with smart, prepaid meters and it might take 3 to 5 years.

Smart meters are evolving into potential game changers for the electrical sector. With a two-way communication and remote monitoring services, it simplifies the management. Customers can switch from prepaid to postpaid and postpaid to prepaid without changing any meter. These smart meters play a vital role in improving customer service and laying the foundation for new and innovative business models.

Smart meters are first step towards smart grid. Over the next 20 years, India will need to refurbish, rebuild grids to smart grids. There are tremendous opportunities to reduce the supply-demand gap through the wise use of electricity. Smart meters together with Time-of-Use prices will encourage all of us to think about how and when we use electricity wisely.

By addressing the peaks in demand, we can reduce the amount we needs to invest in additional power generating plants, transmission lines, and distribution facilities.

What is the benefit of using smart meter technology for agricultural transformer?

Installing smart meter technology near each agriculture transformer will result in accurate calculations and minimise technical losses. This will benefit the state government to calculate the subsidy accurately and the subsidised amount can be claimed by discoms accurately.

Why do distribution companies want smart meters?

Discoms believe the implementation of smart meters will allow a greater degree of efficiency in how they engage with customers. Not only will they reduce the man-hours required in visiting and reading individual consumptions, it will also dramatically reduce the back office resources required in dealing with customer questions and queries. It allows suppliers to offer new forms of tariff,; meaning customers are potentially able to take advantage of cheaper rates when consumed in off-peak hours.

What about funding and budgetary allocation for smart-meter rollout?

The Ministry of Power has decided to replace existing 25 crore conventional electricity meters with smart prepaid meters under the Smart Meter National Programme. The Central Electricity Authority has issued detailed functional requirements, mandating to issue new consumer connections with smart prepaid meter. In 2021 Budget, the Finance Minister has provided for smart metering, which is a major component of the ₹ 3.0 lakh crore.

A consumer need not pay any amount for replacement of existing normal meter with smart prepaid meter.

Published on March 01, 2021

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