The Ministry of Power on Thursday provided timelines for replacing existing electricity meters with smart meters with pre-payment feature in government offices, commercial establishments and industrial units, among others.
According to a notification issued by the ministry on Thursday, all consumers (other than agricultural users) in areas with communication network shall be supplied electricity with smart meters working in pre-payment mode.
All union territories, electrical divisions having more than 50 per cent consumers in urban areas with AT&C (aggregate technical and commercial) losses more than 15 per cent in 2019-20, other electrical divisions with AT&C losses more than 25 per cent in FY20, all government offices at block level and above, and all industrial and commercial consumers shall be metered with smart meters by December 2023.
However, it provided that the State Electricity Regulatory Commissions may extend the period of implementation, after giving reasons, only twice but not more than six months at a time, for certain consumers or areas.
It stated that all other areas shall be metered with smart meters with pre-payment mode by March 2025.
In areas which do not have communication network, installation of pre-payment meters, conforming to relevant IS (information system), may be allowed by the respective State Electricity Regulatory Commission.
All consumer connections having current carrying capacity beyond that specified in relevant IS, may be provided with smart meters having AMR (Automatic Meter Reading) facility, it added.
All feeders and distribution transformers (DTs) shall be provided with meters having AMR facility or covered under AMI (Advanced Metering Infrastructure), as per the notification.
All feeders shall be metered by December 2022.
All DTs in electrical divisions having more than 50 per cent consumers in urban areas with AT&C losses more than 15 per cent in 2019-20, and in all other electrical divisions with AT&C losses more than 25 per cent in FY20, shall be metered by December 2023.
All DTs in other areas shall be metered by March 2025.
This notification shall be effective from the date of publishing in the Gazette of India (August 19, 2021), it stated.