According to a Tangedco official, about 1.41 lakh smart meters have been procured from Venus Power Ventures India Ltd to be installed on the consumer premises. “We have received the smart meters from the manufacturers and it is being tested at the meter relay testing wing. After the testing, we will start installing them on the premises of the consumers,” the official said.
The smart meters would eliminate human intervention for fetching of meter data and to facilitate disconnection or reconnection by remotely making use of the meters with radio frequency-based communication technology. The smart meters are being procured for Rs 137 crore.
Sources in the discoms said the smart meter installation could have commenced by now if not for the lockdown. “With the limited field staff and the spread of the virus, the meter installation is getting delayed. As the field workers have to visit each premise to replace the digital meters with smart meters, the workers are afraid of contracting COVID-19 while carrying out the task of installing 1.41 lakh meters,” sources added.
S Neelakanta Pillai, a retired executive engineer, electrical, RAPDRP, Tangedco said smart meter will also provide other important real-time information such as supply interruption, very high voltage, fault current, earth leak, uneven voltage, unbalanced load, poor power factor and supply interruption to the consumer. He noted that the Tangedco, in an RTI reply, had stated that it will share real-time data and meter tampering alert message to utility personnel concerned only.
“The real-time data from the smart meter is valuable information. The consumers will be able to claim compensation for voltage fluctuation if the data was provided to them from the smart meters,” he added.