Kerala will be forced to introduce smart meters
The Centre launched the revamped distribution sector scheme (RDSS) project in 2021 to ensure mass adoption of prepaid smart meters.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The smart-meter project envisaged by the Centre, which the CPM politburo has opposed, is structured in a way that states will be forced to implement it. But with technology set to be updated every five to eight years, replacing smart meters will prove to be a burden that consumers must bear.
The Centre launched the revamped distribution sector scheme (RDSS) project in 2021 to ensure mass adoption of prepaid smart meters. Union Power Minister R K Singh informed the Lok Sabha in February that RDSS has a total outlay of Rs 3,03,758 crore and estimated budgetary support of the Centre will amount to Rs 97,631 crore for a period of five years -- from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
The Centre’s aim is to reduce the aggregate technical & commercial (AT&C) loss at the pan-India level to12-15% and average cost of supply (ACS)-average revenue realised (ARR) gap to zero by 2024-25. Hence, all state governments will have to implement smart meters eventually.
KSEB unions are not against implementation of smart meters. They have been opposing the Totex model (total cost of expenditure combining capital expenditure and operational expenditure) and rooting for its implementation with the help of C-DAC. CITU national secretary Elamaram Kareem told TNIE the drawback of the smart meter is that they have to be replaced every five to eight years.
“Smart meters have a lifespan of, say, five to eight years. The state government will not be able to bear the expenses towards setting them up, which means consumers will have to bear the cost every five to eight years,” said Kareem.