Smart Meter Installations Across the Country Grow Steadily

According to the recent data released by the National Smart Grid Mission, Ministry of Power, 3.73 million smart meters have been installed across the country out of the total allocated quantity of 11.16 million smart meters as of January 2022.

Various agencies are yet to install the remaining 7.43 million smart meters that the government has allocated.

Smart meters are known for their far-reaching benefits within the entire power sector, helping the distribution companies efficiently maximize their revenues and help consumers monitor and regulate their usage.

Since its rollout a few years ago, smart meters have served their purpose in many states. While the pandemic and the recent change of the GST rate may have led to variability in the installation numbers in recent months, the overall smart meter numbers have seen a steady rise.

Among the agencies, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has installed 2.28 million smart meters out of the total allocated quantity of 7.79 million smart meters. EESL has installed 541,845 prepaid smart meters out of the total installed smart meters.

PFC Consulting Limited is second on the list, installing 54,545 smart meters out of the total allocated quantity of 151,740 smart meters. REC Power Development and Consultancy Limited (RECPDCL) has so far installed 42,162 smart meters out of the total of 144,933 allocated.

Other power utilities across the country have installed 1.35 million smart meters out of the 3.08 million smart meters allocated by the government.

Last August, the Ministry of Power notified the timelines to replace existing meters with smart meters with a prepayment feature. Union Territories, 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.

As per the released data, a total of 1.19 million smart meters have been installed under the Integrated Power Development Scheme (IPDS) program, out of which 476,422 are prepaid smart meters. Under the National Smart Grid Mission program, 110,340 smart meters have been installed, followed by 156,533 smart meters under the Smart Grid pilot program. Under various other programs being run by state utilities, 2.25 million smart meters have been installed, including 72,305 prepaid smart meters.

Smart meters help in remote metering and billing, implementation of peak and off-peak tariffs, and demand-side management through demand response. These benefits would soon become crucial for load generation balancing due to the increasing penetration of renewables.

Among the states and union territories, the union territory of Andaman and Nicobar islands has installed 35,947 smart meters under the IPDS program and 38,089 smart meters under the utility-owned program.

Under various programs in Assam, 208,076 smart meters have been installed so far. Bihar has so far installed 478,012 smart meters, out of which 476,422 are prepaid smart meters. The meters have been installed under the IPDS program. Delhi has installed 36,319 smart meres under the OPEX model and 195,000 under the CAPEX model.

Haryana has installed 10,188 smart meters under the CAPEX model and 390,120 meters under the OPEX model. Also, the state of Madhya Pradesh has installed 241,901 smart meters so far.

In February 2021, EESL invited bids to procure 188,000 smart meters based on 3G/4G mode for deployment under Ajmer and Jodhpur distribution companies. Rajasthan has so far installed 506,103 smart meters in the state. Uttar Pradesh has installed 1.15 million smart meters across the state.

Earlier, Mercom had written about the need to implement smart meters and how their benefits could be felt across the entire power value chain.