APPSC Group - II Mains

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Subject : Andhra Pradesh Digital Electricity Meters Smart Move by AP.

The Andhra Pradesh Government has a smart view on controlling the Current charges and reducing the fruads by most of the Government offices that are having Thousands as well as Lakhs of dues, so the Digital Electric meter will be have prepaid payment like mobile recharge the company or the firm has to recharge in prepaid manner to get he power, there on no more dues will occur.

Power consumption can be done in a smart way very soon. The State government has geared up to launch smart meters which will assist the consumers understand consumption patterns. Messages relating to power consumed, incentives offered during peak-demand hours etc would pop up on their mobile phones.

The government is proposing to install 17 lakh smart meters in a phased manner. And the AP Eastern Power Distribution Company Ltd (AP EPDCL) has ordered for 10,000 meters with the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a Central agency. The Energy department is planning to introduce smart meters to replace 17 lakh conventional electricity meters with an aim to rationalise electricity consumption in the state.

The department has decided to replace the conventional meters in households with consumption of more than 200 units per month. The state government has requested Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) to supply the 17 lakh smart meters.

The EESL has recently communicated that it had called for tenders of 5 million smart meters, of which AP would receive its share of 17 lakh meters. The average cost of each smart meter is estimated to be Rs 2,500. Smart meters are part of overall Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) solutions which uses a GPS technology between the meters and power discoms.

The State government has proposed this to bring down commercial and technical loss of power utilities as the smart meters will increase billing efficiency.

“We can know the consumption pattern of consumers using Time of the Day (ToD) method. As a result, we impose penalty of Rs 1 per unit in peak hours and cut Rs 1 per unit between 10 pm and 2 am for industries where smart meters have already been introduced,” Ranganatham said.

The smart meter can be used as prepaid also. “Consumers can monitor their consumption pattern and can pay just like prepaid mobile phone plans,” Ranganatham said.

“Due to net metering system, there will be no scope for tampering the meters,” he said. However, the disadvantages are the smart meters put the human meter readers out of work and it is so complex to check the performance of the meters.

On other hand, the senior officials of energy department are unhappy with the poor progress of this particular scheme with respect to EESL’s work. “The EESL is failing in implementing contracts as per schedule. It has failed in supplying smart meters and electric vehicles also on time. We think it will take at least four years to complete this scheme across the State,” a senior official of energy department said.

The State government is supplying power with no distinction between peak and off peak hours. A flat tariff is charged for low tension (LT) category consumers. A discount of a rupee per unit on the tariff is on the cards. It will be offered on consumption during 10 a.m. to 12 noon for those who consume more than 500 units per month. The slot is
being proposed to understand the response. The meters are “essentially pre-paid meters.” The consumers would get message at regular intervals on the power consumed and remaining balance on their connection, officials say.

When contacted, Energy Minister Kimidi Kala Venkata Rao said the Discoms had got approval from the AP Energy Commission to roll out the programme. “The meters would bring in operational efficiency and improve finances of the Discoms. The project is aimed at providing real time data to strategise demand side management, energy/power demand forecasting. To start with, the government is planning to extend a subsidy or discount to LT-1(C) consumers.”


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