smart meters

In India, energy firm India Power has begun to install smart electric meters in the city of Gaya in Bihar state.The deployment of the smart meters is expected to help the utility company to lower power theft, ensure accurate electricity billing and revenue collection.

In addition, the smart meters will help India Power to ensure grid reliability through the provision of real time insights of the grid status.

According to a local publication, the new electric metering system will enhance the power utility’s customer service by lowering the time for restoration of power in case of power outages.

The system is reported to be able to send notifications to the power firm in the incident of a power failure.

Under the first phase of the smart meters project in Gaya, India Power is planning to install 10,000 units within two months.

The project falls under India Power’s efforts to meet the mandate set by the country's energy ministry.

[quote] The ministry set a target for power utilities to have 100% of their consumers equipped with smart meters by 2020.

However, the power company is expecting to complete the installation of some 100,000 smart meters in its service territories of Gaya town, Bodh Gaya and Manpur areas before 2020. [Chinese firm partners with Indian gov on AMI rollout].

Electricity billing

As utilities rally towards installing smart meters to improve their electricity billing, the Punjab State Power Corporation partnered with mobile money transfer firm Vodafone M-PESA to improve how consumers pay their bills.

The collaboration allowed consumers of the power utility to securely pay their bills online via the digital app.

M-PESA is a digital wallet service provided by Vodafone to simplify money transfers, bills and utility Payments, merchant payments and business solutions across the Indian state of Punjab.

Arvind Vohra, operations director of Vodafone India, said: “partnership with the PSPCL is one such initiative that bridges the need for a simple, timely and cashless electricity bill payment solution through the mobile phone.”

The app is expected to contribute largely towards digitising electricity bill payments through its host of 3,000 outlets in which PSPCL consumers can convert their cash into digital money for payment of bills as well as advanced prepayment of electricity.