New Delhi, 21 May 2020 – Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a PSU under the Ministry of Power, Government of India, is the designated agency to implement the smart metering programme in India. Bihar is the first state in India to use about 25,000 smart prepaid meters, out of the total 28,000 smart meters installed in the entire state. The consumers on an average are recharging their prepaid smart meters with credit balance of INR 20 daily. This has resulted in daily recharge revenue of INR 5,00,000.
The smart Meters deployed by EESL have the capability to switch to Prepaid mode with a remote button click from the IT system. Wherein the general populace has to adhere to the social distancing norms by the government, electricity distribution companies have not been able to physically collect electricity bills from consumers, leading to dip in the cash flow. However, few DISCOMs are enjoying the perks of using the prepaids smart meters.
Under this programme, more than 12,00,000 smart meters have been installed so far in India, to enhance consumer convenience and rationalise electricity consumption. EESL has enabled the nation’s DISCOMs in generating 15-20% average increase in monthly revenue per consumer amid the lockdown. With the help of smart meters’ features such as remote connect and digital payments, the DISCOMs have been able to maintain business continuity even during the current challenging times.
With the smart metering solution, consumers can be given repeated reminder SMS / calls to get their account recharged and it has been observed that more than 60% smart prepaid consumers in Bihar are recharging their credit balance through the Mobile Application only.
Highlighting the vital role of smart meters, Saurabh Kumar, MD, EESL said, “The current situation has only served to reinforce the efficacy of smart meters, by completely eliminating manual interventions. Smart Metering is poised to be the launchpad for a comprehensive reform of the power sector. The benefits of smart metering, beginning with a seamless online billing process, real time tracking of electricity usage, and reduction of billing errors has cascaded down the energy value chain to the consumers as well. Consumers have, for the first time emerged as the focal point in the power sector. The ability to track their usage real time has translated into energy and capital savings for the consumers, along with an access to a new era of consumer experience. Additionally, the implementation of AMI technology leads to enhancement of operational efficiency of utilities through various factors such as better outage management system, remote meter reading and error free billing etc.
During this current crisis, often the consumer complaints are not being addressed in time due to non-availability of access/staff and infrastructure. However, through the smart metering solution, along with online resolutions, help desk representatives can address consumer query in real-time basis. Hence, approximately 99% complaints have been successfully resolved during these trying times.
The Smart Meters programme is also an unprecedented step towards delivering digital literacy and services under the Digital India programme of the Government of India. This programme is playing an important role in empowering citizens by bringing in transparency and accountability in electricity consumption and billing.