Role Of Smart Meters In Energy Management
energyⁿ manager|July - September 2019
Energy metering in India has evolved over several years. Apart from energy accounting and revenue management, it plays a crucial role in billing efficiency, renewable energy integration and load management. The Government of India is now focusing on the need to adopt prepaid and smart meters to bring down the Aggregate Technical & Commercial (AT&C) losses.
C S Azad

Introduction

The Government of India (GoI) has announced theUjwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) programmefor financial restructuring and performanceenhancement of electricity Distribution Companies(DISCOMs) which mandates DISCOMs to deploysmart meters (conforming to the latest IndianStandards: IS 16444 and IS 15959 Part-2) for allcustomers with monthly electricity consumption above200 kWh. In the Electricity Tariff Policy announced inFebruary 2016, GoI has reiterated the goal of smartmeters envisaged in the UDAY programme. Thegovernment is planning to install smart prepaid meters in the near future for an estimated 35 million customers who consume above 200 kWh/month.

Evolution of smart metering in India

Smart meters are basically static watt-hour meters with time-of-use registers, internal connect and disconnect switches and two-way communication facility. In addition, smart meters provide facilities for remote diagnosis, near real-time alarms and remote firmware upgrade to cater to a feature request or a bug fix. Smart meters also support prepaid mode, with Time of Day (ToD) tariff along with net metering for supporting micro-grids.

Following the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) direction to use static meters, the Indian energy meter market has shifted to static meters from old electromechanical meters. Standards of IS13779 were published by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to define specifications of static watt-hour meters. Later on, BIS published standards for smart metering (IS 16444 in August 2015 and IS 15959 Part 2 in February 2016) and the CEA published functional requirements of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and technical specification of smart meters in August 2016. The National Tariff Policy released in January 2016 re-stated this deployment plan. Another key landmark was the publication of the AMI rollout strategy by CEA in September 2016 which stated that deployment of smart meters is to be done area-wise or feeder-wise instead of segregated deployment based on monthly consumption. The Figure 1 explains the evolution of the smart meter.

Smart metering system

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