HYDERABAD: Henceforth, payment of power bills will be like recharging mobile phones. The consumers would have to pay upfront and then as soon as the balance begins decreasing in their account, they would have to add more money to it. If the balance gets exhausted, the power supply would automatically gets disconnected.
The TS Southern Power Distribution Company Ltd is planning to install 40 lakh such smart meters in Hyderabad in a phased manner. It is preparing to call for tenders to implement smart pre-paid meters under the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme.
Smart meters a win-win for consumers, Discom, say officials
The agency that would be awarded the project will take care of installation, maintenance, commissioning and integration of smart meters, and in return TSSPDCL will pay them Rs 60 to Rs 70 per each billing every month. Consumers need not pay for the installation of smart meters.
According to TSSPDCL sources, smart meters are a new kind of electricity meters that can digitally send meter readings to the energy supplier for more accurate billing. They will do away with the issuance of energy consumption bills and prevent wastage of power.
The sources also said that tenders would soon be called for this project which would be implemented in public-private partnership mode through TOTEX model (capital expenditure + operational expenditure) and the agency which will be awarded the project will take care of commissioning, installation, integration and maintenance of smart meters.
The Revamped Distribution Scheme would lead to consumer empowerment by way of prepaid smart metering, the officials claim. The Discom has already sent a request to the Centre and is waiting for the project approval.
Speaking to Express, T Srinivas, Director (Projects) of TSSPDCL, said that last year, 18,000 smart meters were successfully installed in various government offices and buildings. “Earlier, we had a combination of prepaid and postpaid smart meters. But now we want to implement only prepaid ones for domestic use,” he said.
According to him, the power utility would pay Rs 60 to Rs 70 per month on each billing for maintenance and operation of smart meters. “These smart meters would be a win-win situation for consumers and power distribution company,” he added.
Since all the smart meters would be prepaid ones, it allows consumers to pay for energy before they use and help them to know the real-time usage and bill amount and also reduce the consumption as per one’s affordability.
These meters operate based on the amount available at meters and if there is no balance, it will be disconnected automatically. It gives accurate meter reading to both consumers and energy supplier, and leaves no scope for excess billing, the official added.