The shifting of electricity meters from consumers' premises by Punjab State Power Corporation Ltd (PSPCL) has curbed power theft and cut the company's power losses by 17.5%. This data was presented by the Engineer's Association of PSPCL during its general body meeting last week.
"The shifting of meters has proved quite beneficial," PSPCL director (generation) Arun Verma said. "By reducing power losses, we have checked power thefts. This has helped in load balancing and better voltage in the villages."
The PSPCL's move to shift meters to outside the households was strongly opposed by different quarters, including farmer's organisations. At a few places the shifting of meters led to violence and caning by police.
According to power engineers, power losses will reduce further as more meters are shifted from the consumers' premises. They say that due to the shifting, PSPCL's performance is comparable to other better-run power utilities in the country.
Figures obtained from the PSPCL's distribution wing show that out of 51 lakh meters in villages and cities, 31.5 lakh have been shifted to outside the consumers' premises. In the cities, the work for shifting about 5.19 lakh meters will start soon. Verma said according to the company's targets, the work of shifting meters would be complete by March 2014.
"The exact figures of controlling losses will be assessed when the shifting is complete," added Verma.
The PSPCL seeks to save `500 crore annually by placing the meters outside the premises of the consumer.