Amid the pandemic-triggered lockdown, State-owned Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) has enabled cash-strapped discoms in generating around 95% of billing efficiency by using smart meters and 15-20% average increase in monthly revenue per consumer.
EESL, a PSU under the Ministry of Power, Government of India, is the designated agency to implement the smart metering programme in India.
Under this programme, a total of 12,06,435 smart meters have been installed till date to enhance consumer convenience and rationalise electricity consumption.
States such as U.P., Haryana, New Delhi and Bihar have installed 9.84 lakh, 1.23 lakh, 57,000 and 28,000 smart meters respectively.
With the help of smart meters, discoms in these States have been able to handle their operations smoothly in the time of crisis.
Saurabh Kumar, MD, EESL said, “Smart meters have been indispensable in the current situation, helping discoms function smoothly, thanks to their ability to remotely monitor and collect meter readings. Smart meters help discoms reduce AT&C losses, improve their financial health, incentivise energy conservation, enhance ease of bill payments and ensure billing accuracy by getting rid of manual errors in meter reading. In addition to this, consumers get the ability to track their usage and pay their bills easily through mobile phone. It enhances consumer satisfaction through better complaint management, system stability, reliability and transparency.”
EESL is also implementing smart prepaid meters under its smart metering programme. “Smart meters deployed [can] switch to prepaid mode with a remote button click. At a time when the general populace has to adhere to the social distancing norms of the government, electricity distribution companies have not been able to physically collect electricity bills from consumers, leading to a dip in cash flow,” the company said in a statement.
However, few discoms are enjoying the perks of using the prepaid smart meters. Bihar is the first State to use about 25,000 smart prepaid meters.
“The consumers, on an average, are recharging their prepaid smart meters with credit balance of ₹20 on a daily basis. This has resulted in significant benefit of revenue to the State discoms, while other discoms with conventional meters have not even been able to generate the bills,” the statement said.