India to change all electricity meters to smart meters (this move could revive utilities)

Fri, 2019-07-26 12:46 -- SCC India Staff

electricity meters

As part of its ongoing effort to turn around the country’s ailing power sector, the Indian Government is planning to install smart meters in each and every home and business. The plan under consideration would require 300 million smart meters over three years. The Power Ministry has begun discussions with manufacturers on supplying the meters, which improve efficiency by monitoring and transmitting power use data.

As part of the plan, the federal government is mulling providing subsidies to partially cover the costs, one of the officials said. Preliminary estimates by the government put the cost for the meters at about Rs 2,000 apiece, or $8.7 billion in total, according to one of the officials. That’s partly based on an expectation that prices would be lower than a smaller government tender for 5 million smart meters in 2017 at Rs 2,503.

Widespread use of smart meters could be a game-changer for ailing Indian distribution utilities. These distributors lose nearly one-fifth of their revenue through various technical and commercial reasons including power theft or inefficient billing and collecting, according to the power ministry.

ITI, Genus Power Infrastructures and state-owned Karnataka State Electronics Development have won bids to supply smart meters in previous tenders. Other companies that make smart meters include Schneider Electric SE and Siemens.