smart electric meters
Gray electric meters standing in a row. 3D illustration. cigdem

In India, A.P Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (AP-SDCL) plans to install smart electric meters in government premises.According to The Hindu, the smart electric meters will help AP-SDCL improve its revenue collection by ensuring energy usage in government facilities is accurately measured and billed.

The installation of the smart meters is also expected to help government departments to improve their energy efficiency.

Currently, the energy provider is reported to be in the process of selecting a company to partner with for the supply, installation and management of smart meters including prepaid electric meters.

Under the pilot phase, AP-SDCL will partner with Chinese-based smart meter manufacturer Shijiazhuang Kelin Electric Company (KE) for the deployment of an advanced metering infrastructure solution.

The AP-SDCL and KE pilot will include the deployment of 100 smart electric meters in Vijayawada.

Apart from improving revenue collection for the energy provider, the smart meters will also help the utility meet peak demands, by having access to real-time information on the performance of the energy distribution system.

Smart electric meters

In related news, in late May, India's Goa Electricity Department announced it will install some 80,000 smart prepaid meters for its customers in Panaji, Taliegao, Corlim and Bambolim.

The decision follows the Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission’s rejection of a claim filed by Goa Electricity Department to postpone the rollout of prepaid electric meters.

Following an order previously issued by JERC for the state utility to implement a pilot on prepaid electric meters to improve its energy billing and revenue collection, Goa Electricity Department filed a proposal with the regulator informing of its unavailability of funds to install the meters.

However, according to the India Times, a response from JERC, says: "The pre-paid meters, though costlier as compared to conventional meters, will be cost effective in the long run. Further government of India is already focusing on installing smart meters."

JERC argues that the new metering system will help the utility department to recover arrears owed by its customers. A study conducted by the energy regulator had found government facilities as the utility’s largest defaulters.

In addition, a pre-paid metering system would also help the energy distribution company reduce its operational expenses associated with manual meter readings.

The prepaid meters will also help reduce human error incurred in manual meter reading as well as help the utility improve its grid management through insight into daily customer energy use patterns.

Goa Electricity Department is responsible for energy distribution to some 580,000 metering points in the Indian state of Goa. The utility does not own energy generation infrastructure but rather purchases its electricity from the National Thermal Power Corporation.

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