Delhi's power regulator DERC has decided to introduce a smart metering system through which consumers can make "informed choices" about electricity use based on varying cost and availability during the course of a day.
Through this first-of-its-kind initiative, consumers will get real-time information about the price of power depending on its availability and procurement cost. Accordingly, they will have the option of shifting energy consumption, like running water pumps or using washing machines, to non-peak hours.
For this, Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), widely used in US and Europe, will be installed to facilitate a two-way wireless communication between consumers and discoms.
"We have decided in principle to introduce the system," said DERC chairman PD Sudhakar. He said the installation of AMI will put in place an effective demand-response mechanism through which consumers will save money and discoms will cut down power purchase.
Power discoms and industrial consumers have termed this initiative "encouraging".
"We do not want to impose it on anybody," Sudhakar said, adding that issues like who will incur cost of AMI and making the distribution network compatible with the proposed metering system are being finalised.