Unlike the legacy energy meters used for the calculation of energy consumption at the consumer end, the smart meters would be bi-directional.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Prepaid electricity meters would soon become a reality in the state. The Kerala State Electricity Board Limited has begun to scout for competent agencies willing to supply smart energy meters to be deployed on a pilot basis in the state capital this year.
Unlike the legacy energy meters used for the calculation of energy consumption at the consumer end, the smart meters would be bi-directional. This would, in turn, help the power utility to have more control over energy supply. Even without the physical verification of the meters installed at the consumer's premises, the board officials in the control room would be able to calculate the energy consumption of a particular consumer who uses smart meters. The introduction of smart meters is being planned as part of the rollout of the central government scheme to revive electricity distribution firms.
According to the board, the number of `door locked cases' was very high in certain districts, where consumers occupy their homes only for a few months a year. In many such cases, the officials will have no access to the meters for their physical verification.
“The smart meters are more consumer friendly. Those who keep their houses locked for most time of the year can opt for them. Also, with the advent of the smart meters, the board will have more control over the power distribution and could enhance the service quality and monitoring capacity,“ said KSEB chairman and managing director K Ellangovan.
KSEB Ltd intends to replace existing meters of all consumers who use more than 500 units of power per billing cycle. There are around 1,36,000 consumers who come under this group from all tariff groups and categories, across the state. The board is set to carry out a pilot implementation of smart meters for consumers within Thiruvananthapuram Electrical Division, which has around 7,000 consumers under the specified category. The approximate number of total consumers spread across all categories is 1.2 crore.
The board has called for expression of interest from competent companies for carrying out the pilot project in Thiruvanathapuram. Based on the success of the implementation, the installation of smart meters would be extended to other parts of the state as well. During the pilot phase, these smart meters will be functioning in parallel to the existing meters.
“The price of the meters, whether the consumers are supposed to purchase them or should the board supply them are to be decided later,“ Ellangovan said.
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