Smart Grid Project: Chandigarh electricity dept told to expedite installation of smart meters

Published on Jul 15, 2022 12:18 AM IST

The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) has directed the Chandigarh electricity department to expedite installation of smart meters under the Smart Grid Project and submit the progress report within a month

Under the Smart Grid Project, 24,149 existing meters have been replaced with smart ones so far, as per the Chandigarh electricity department. (Representative image/HT)
Under the Smart Grid Project, 24,149 existing meters have been replaced with smart ones so far, as per the Chandigarh electricity department. (Representative image/HT)
By, Chandigarh

The Joint Electricity Regulatory Commission (JERC) has directed the UT electricity department to expedite installation of smart meters under the Smart Grid Project and submit the progress report within a month.

The department, in response to objections raised by city residents during a public hearing held by JERC, stated, “Under the project, 24,149 existing meters have been replaced with smart ones so far. Allotment of work for the entire city is under approval with the central government.”

Responding to the department’s reply, JERC observed, “The commission has taken a serious view of the fact that the petitioner (department) is yet to ensure full compliance and is directed to expedite the Smart Grid Project and submit the progress report within one month of issuance of this order.”

The new system will be beneficial for both department and consumers. The smart meters will send immediate tamper alerts to the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) centre and allow the department to keep track of load, voltage, outages, peak demand and consumption across the city. Besides, the power control room will also receive immediate alerts in case of tripping in main lines.

On the other hand, residents will benefit as smart meters will allow start of prepaid services. “Instead of paying bi-monthly bills, they will be able to pay only for what they expect to consume,” said a UT official.

Under the Smart Grid Project, which has been approved by National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM), the UT administration has planned to install smart electricity meters across the city as part of power sector reforms.

Monthly billing

The city residents had submitted before JERC that consumers should be clearly made aware of monthly billing commencing only after installation of smart meters. The department has maintained that monthly billing is already in effect in industrial category.

“At present, more than 85% consumers (domestic and commercial) are billed bi-monthly. The conversion of meter reading from bi-monthly to monthly basis will lead to various problems as there is acute shortage of staff. Further, the software also needs to be modified for monthly billing. Installation of smart meters in the entire city will make monthly billing easier for consumers in both domestic and commercial category,” stated the department.

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