Get Smart_ 5,000 Homes in Varanasi Receive Smart Electricity Meters

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has successfully completed the pilot phase of its satellite-based smart meter project in a village in Varanasi in which 5,000 households received the meters. This project is a part of ADB’s $200 million (~ ₹13 billion) loan to Energy Efficiency Service Limited (EESL), a joint venture between four public sector bodies, to implement various demand side energy efficiency projects in India.

ADB plans to expand the project as part of its proposed second phase, Yongping Zhai, chief of energy sector group, sustainable development and climate department, ADB, said in a blog.

In his post, Zhai explains the benefits of smart meters. “Smart meters provide real-time information about the electricity usage through a mobile app, so consumers can detect any wastage and optimize electricity consumption to save money. When more rural households install distributed solar photovoltaic panels on their rooftops, smart meters can be used as “net metering” too,” said Zhai.

Zhai also applauded smart meters for accurate billing. “No human intervention and estimation are required to record the bills. Moreover, with smart metering, distribution companies can predict power purchase requirements more accurately, and optimal usage means less power needs to be purchased during peak hours. To add to all this, data collected from smart meters helps distribution companies improve load forecasting, better locate and size substations and transformers, and curb technical losses,” said Zhai.

Smart meters are also expected to be affordable, with each meter estimated to be $35 (~ ₹2,550) and cost another $35 (~ ₹2,550) to deploy for five years. Zhai stressed that the smart meters and EESL’s smart metering initiative are part of the Indian government’s larger low-carbon energy transition program.

Zhai also said part of the program is to promote the successful installation of smart meters in the 17 towns in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, and will extend this promotion to other parts of the country.

In April 2017, ADB provided a $200 million (~ ₹13 billion) loan to finance energy efficient lights and water pumps in India.  The funds were given to EESL to provide loans for to install LED streetlights in municipalities, and for LED bulbs, tube lights, and electric fans for households and institutions.

Image Credit: Flickr

Garima is a staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering renewable energy news. Prior to Mercom, Garima worked as a journalist with The Times of India and The New Indian Express. She received her Master’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Nottingham and PG Diploma degree in journalism from the Times School of Journalism.