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Time for metering system

DERC is going through a proposal submitted by the Delhi Govt?s power deptt to start a pilot project in 3 residential areas, reports Moushumi Das Gupta.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2006 05:04 IST

It is a concept, which if implemented, might cheer the already harried power consumers in the Capital. It will help bring down their monthly power bill drastically. And all that the consumer will have to do to avail discounted tariff is to use power during off-peak hours —when demand for electricity is the lowest.

The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is presently going through a proposal submitted by the Delhi government’s power department to start a pilot project in three residential areas for implementing Time- Of-Day ((TOD) Metering system.

The pilot study — to be implemented by The Energy Research Institute — proposes to cover three residential areas, which include group housing societies in Rohini, Dwarka and Mayur Vihar. Depending on the outcome of the study it can be expanded to other areas as well. DERC officials said that they were studying the modalities of TOD before giving the go-ahead for the pilot study.

Simply put, TOD means domestic consumers who use power during off-peak hours will be given a discount. The consumers will have to get an electronic meter fitted with a pre-programmed chip that records demand, time and energy usage.

There is a flip side also. Consumers will have to pay a premium for using power during peak hours when the demand for electricity is the highest.

“TERI had made a presentation before DERC recently. Since it is the first time that domestic consumers will be targeted, we want to see to what extent TOD can be made a feasible option,” said Rakesh Mehta, Delhi power secretary.

According to Mehta TOD would require a lot of behavioral change on the part of consumers. “Some extent of behavioral change will be required like avoiding bath during morning hours in winter when the power demand is the highest. Its not an easy task,” he said.

There are other issues also that will have to be tackled before TOD is fully implemented. For instance, it will require all electronic meters to be re-programmed and fitted with chips. This involves lot of time and manpower. “Unless these issues are sorted out we can’t implement TOD successfully,” said a power department official.

At present, TOD is already implemented in some states, including West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and Uttaranchal, for commercial and industrial users. “It’s a feasible option in industries and commercial sectors where there is a shift system. Implementation is much more easier and even the results are much more forthcoming,” added the official.

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First Published: Dec 07, 2006 05:04 IST