India, June 21 -- All traditional electricity meters in areas where power distribution is handled by BYPL and BRPL in Delhi, will be replaced with smart meters, power distribution company BSES announced on Monday, adding that the rollout will begin from October with five million smart devices being installed in the next two and a half years.
BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) and BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) are a joint venture between Reliance Infrastructure and the Delhi government. The two companies manage power distribution in south, west, east and central Delhi areas.
Smart meters, unlike traditional meters, are connected through a web-based monitoring system which sends consumption information to the discom and to the consumer on a real time basis, eliminating the need for a meter reader. The tracking of the energy usage, in turn helps the consumer identify energy saving options to reduce their electricity bills. It also can alert them about faults and outages. For the power utilities, it helps reduce their commercial losses, enhance revenues and serves as an important tool in power sector reforms.
Discoms and Delhi government officials said on Monday that existing consumers do not have to bear any cost to get a smart meter installed. "The replacement or transition from a traditional meter to a smart meter will be absolutely free. The discoms will do it from their own end without bothering the consumers, although they will be informed about the upgrade," said a senior government official in the power department.
Delhi has a total 6.6 million electricity consumers of which the two BSES discoms together supply power to 4.5 million consumers. The remaining areas, mostly North Delhi, is catered to by Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL).
This rollout is part of the Centre's Smart Meter National Programme in which the government aims to replace 250 million conventional meters with smart meters across the country.
On June 17, BRPL and BYPL floated tenders to procure and install 3 million and 2 million smart meters respectively in their areas of operation. "The BSES has invited applications for the supply (and contract maintenance) of five million smart meters - with capital outlay of up to Rs. 4000 crore. This will be the first time in any Indian city that five million smart meters will be deployed by a power distribution conglomerate. It will be one of the largest such exercises anywhere in the country including any metro city. It is also the largest and fastest private sector smart meter roll-outs in the country," said a BSES spokesperson.
To be sure Rs.10,000 crore is the estimated cost of smart meter tenders floated in West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar combined. "BSES' smart meter project is larger in size than the 4.4 million smart meters installed in the country so far. The top five states where smart meters have been installed are UP (1.1 million), Bihar (0.8 million), Rajasthan (0.5 million), Haryana (0.4 million) and Assam (0.2 million)," a BSES official said.
Data from the state power department showed that till now 300,000 smart meters have been installed in Delhi. Prior to the June 17 tender, BSES had installed such meters in a few pockets of Delhi.
A Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited spokesperson said as on date, it has installed 290,000 smart meters across different consumer segments. "We are aiming to touch 350,000 by the end of this financial year. With the installation of smart meters, we are working towards becoming a fully digital utility. Smart meters will not only help to enhance energy conservation but also help in reducing carbon emissions, while giving consumers the full control over their consumption," the TPDDL spokesperson said.
The BSES claimed it will be one of the fastest smart meter roll-out programs anywhere in the world. "Typically, smart-meters programmes (both India or abroad) have been executed between 5-8 years. But BSES plans to roll out the installation of five million smart meters in Delhi in October 2022 and it aims to complete the project by March 2025," a senior BSES official said. Published by HT Digital Content Services with permission from Hindustan Times. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at email@example.com