Bring Down Your Energy Costs With Smart Meters
Even in the 21st century, when a large portion of the country faces electricity woes, the Indian government is now upbeat about its initiative Power for All by 2022. Under the initiative, the government plans to improve energy access and also, install 250 million smart meters across the country to monitor the consumption and manage power in an efficient and sustainable manner. At present, approximately two lakh smart metering projects are under deployment in 11 smart grid pilot projects and one smart city pilot project sanctioned by the Ministry of Power.
With electricity demand in the country rising at a rate of 10 per cent annually, such meters are expected to bring down the instances of power theft and losses due to technical factors. Moreover, the homeowners can expect more accurate energy bills and can be assured of a better understanding of the usage.
What are smart meters?
While the standard electronic meters only measure the amount of consumption for utilities (like electricity, natural gas and water) for a building, smart meters are advanced electronic devices which record energy consumption at short intervals and provide data for real-time monitoring, analysis and billing. They provide two-way communication between the meter and the central system.
Benefits and impact of smart metering solutions
Reduced costs: Smart meters can be revolutionary for homeowners fighting rising electricity bills. These meters will allow them to read their consumption and plan their future consumption and reduce power expenditure if need be. The meters will be generating bills based on the time at which power is consumed. The consumers will also be paying more for peak periods. These meters will allow power companies to introduce time-of-use tariffs, based on how much demand there is for power at a particular time.
Accuracy: Smart meters are powered by machines that will record the data. Hence, these meters will be accurate in reading and billing using their automated meter reading (AMR) capabilities. The system will be connected to smartphone apps, allowing consumers to track the data from their phones.
Sustainability: With smart meters, quality electrical supply can be achieved. By minimising peak demand, smart meters can cut down carbon dioxide emissions by 5 to 16 percent.
Transparency: Utilising smart technologies will ensure transparency and improvement in building efficiency. Electricity thefts contribute significant percentage of power transmission losses in India costing around $16.2 billion a year. The system will enable utility managers and building owners to detect tampering and theft. Also, households or commercial establishments that do not pay their bills can be easily identified.
Efficient grid operations: Introduction of smart meters in every home, will lead to better supply planning based on analysis of real demand data and proper management of the network, generation and destruction. Overloading of the grid or blackouts can be prevented while also bringing down transmission and distribution losses to internationally acceptable levels.