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All electricity meters to be smart prepaid meters in the next 3 years: Indian Power Minister

An official press statement released on 7 June stated that during a meeting, the Government of India encouraged electricity meter manufacturers to step up production in India, as it plans to replace all post-paid electricity bills with smart prepaid meters over the next three years.  

In the meeting for meter manufactures held by the Ministry of Power and New & Renewable Energy, the Minister, Mr Raj Kumar Singh said that in next three years metering will go smart prepaid and will make post-paid paper and electronic bills obsolete. He added that it is becoming increasingly important to manufacture more smart prepaid meters and to bring down prices.

Taking this step will increase the efficiency of government facilities; the plan is to reduce transmission and distribution (T&D) losses to 15% from the current 22% by 2019, according to the Central Electricity Authority has said that T&D losses in India are high compared to international standards.

During the meeting, the press release stated that Mr Raj Kumar Singh urged the manufacturers to increase production as demand is likely to go up over the next three years, he also advised Ministry officials to consider making smart prepaid meters mandatory after a particular date.

According to the release, this move will revolutionise the power sector by reducing Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses, which is the sum total of technical and commercial losses and shortage due to failure to account for a billed amount. Furthermore, the Ministry intends to better heath of electricity distribution companies (DISCOMs), incentivise energy conservation, and make bill payment easier through the plan. The initiative also aims to generate employment for the country’s youth.

Several factors regarding the manufacturing and implementation of smart meters were discussed, such as, attainment of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification, compatibility with GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), and whether the initiative will be able to integrate successfully with existing digital infrastructure.

The Power Secretary Mr Ajay Kumar Bhalla and the Additional Power Secretary Mr Sanjiv Nandan Sahai were among other officials present in the meeting.

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