Plan panel wants wider power metering in rural areas

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 21, 2013 14:40 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) The Planning Commission wants power distribution companies (discoms) to expand electricity metering in rural areas of India as a key measure for cutting losses in the system.

"It is important for metering to do well in the country as the entire value chain of the power sector depends on realisation of dues from consumers," B.K. Chaturvedi, member (Energy), Planning Commission, said Thursday.

"There is a need for expansion of metering in the rural areas. Even relatively developed states like Andhra Pradesh don't have metering in rural areas," said Chaturvedi, addressing a conference here on metering organised by the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers' Association (IEEMA).

He said in the absence of universal metering, all power thefts and system inefficiencies are debited to rural consumers.

As per the 2011 Census, only around 55 percent of people in rural areas have access to power.

Chaturvedi also suggested time-of-day (TOD), smart and prepaid metering to overcome losses, increase the efficiency and facilitate better demand side management by consumers.

"By 2030, the total power generation requirement in India is expected to grow to 900 to 1,100 Giga Watt," said Chaturvedi.

K.K. Agarwal, member (Grid Operations and Distribution), Central Electric Authority, said 14 smart grid pilot projects have been planned across the country. For this, funding will be shared equally between the union government and the state utilities.

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