Smart meters and associated mobile app will soon transform the way domestic consumers use electricity by allowing them the option to run heavy appliances such as washing machines or press clothes when tariffs are lower, such as during off-peak hour.
The pre-paid meters would also allow consumers to pay according to their financial convenience and consumption, while removing human intervention in billing and resultant irritants such as inflated bills.
According to power minister R K Singh, under the new system, called ‘time of the day’ tariff regime, consumers will pay a higher price at times of high demand and lower rates when demand is low. This will also help conservation efforts.
Addressing a function to mark replacement of 50,000 conventional meters with smart meters in the New Delhi Municipal Council area, Singh said introduction of smart technology will change the entire picture of electricity generation, transmission and distribution with changing times.
Smart metering is at the core of government strategy to end willful blackouts by discoms and improve their revenue collection. Improved billing is expected to restore financial health of discoms, allowing them to buy power instead of resorting to blackouts, which will invite stiff penalty in the new tariff policy that will come into force from April.
The minister said under the Saubhagya scheme electrification of six lakh remaining households will be completed by January 26, two months ahead of the March 31 deadline. At present around 30,000 households are being energised every day.
Under the smart meter project, NDMC would not pay for installation of these smart meters because the cost would be recovered through savings. The installation charges of these smart meters comes to Rs 95 per day, while the savings would be Rs 208 per day for each connection.