Working to rapidly establish its stated goal of pan-India universal electricity access, the government of India is enabling Smart Grids which can offer affordability and other benefits to consumers.
The first step towards realising Smart Grids is the implementation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI). AMI is a collective term for an integrated infrastructure of Smart Meters, two way-communication networks, control centre equipment, and the applications that enable near real-time gathering and transfer of energy usage information. Enabling two-way communications with customers, AMI is the backbone of the Smart Grid1 .
A smart, automated metering system reduces meter-reading, data-entry errors and costs by removing the need for manual meter reading. Therefore, the Smart Meter can enable utilities to reduce their Aggregate Transmission and Commercial (AT&C) losses and billing inefficiencies. These meters, connected through a web-based monitoring system, will help reduce commercial losses of Utilities, enhance revenues, and serve as a crucial tool in power sector reforms.
We, at EESL, are helping utilities reduce these billing inefficiencies by deploying smart meters through the Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP). The SMNP aims to replace India’s 250 million conventional meters with smart meters. Our smart meters procurement will commence in November 2017 for the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, states with AT&C losses as large as 28.42% and 34.36% respectively2 .
Our proven model of bulk procurement, aggregation of demand, and monetisation of savings will be the approach to roll out smart meters. This roll-out is proposed under the Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model, wherein EESL will undertake all the capital and operational expenditure with zero upfront investment from states and utilities.
EESL, on its investment, shall earn a nominal Internal rate of return (IRR) through a mutually agreed automated payback structure during the concession period, along with payment security mechanism from state governments and utilities.