The Ministry of Power (MoP) has notified the timelines to replace existing meters with smart meters with a prepayment feature. The notification is effective August 17, 2021
All consumers (other than agricultural consumers) in areas with a communication network will install smart meters working on prepayment mode, conforming to relevant information systems.
Union Territories (UTs), electrical divisions with more than 50% consumers in urban areas with aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses of more than 15% in the financial year (FY) 2019-20, must be metered with smart meters by December 2023.
Other electrical divisions with AT&C losses more than 25% in FY 2019-20, all government offices at the block level and above, and all industrial and commercial consumers must be metered with smart meters by December 2023.
The state regulatory commission can extend the implementation period for a class or classes of consumers or such areas specified in the commission’s notification, only twice, but not for more than six months at a time.
Meanwhile, other areas must have smart meters installed by March 2025. The state electricity regulatory commission can permit prepayment meters’ installations in areas with no communication network.
All consumer connections with a current carrying capacity beyond the specified capacity in the relevant information systems can be provided with smart meters with an automatic meter reading facility.
All feeders and distribution transformers must have meters with an automatic meter reading facility or must be covered under advanced metering infrastructure. All feeders shall be metered by December 2022.
All distribution transformers in electrical divisions with more than 50% consumers in urban areas with AT&C losses more than 15% in FY 2019-20 and all other electrical divisions with AT&C losses of more than 25% in FY 2019-20 must be metered by December 2023.
All distribution transformers in areas other than the ones mentioned above must be metered by March 2025. Distribution transformers and high voltage distribution systems transformers with less than 25 kVA capacity can be excluded from the allotted timelines.
The Union Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy, R.K. Singh, replying to a question at the Lok Sabha recently, informed about approving over 700,000 smart meters to be installed across the country under the National Smart Grid Mission.
Mercom has earlier reported on how smart meters would be the much-needed solution to most of the Indian power sector’s problems. They require minimal direct human interaction and have other widespread benefits that will be felt across the entire power value chain.
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Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.