New Delhi: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government is considering plans to convert all electricity meters into smart prepaid meters by 2022. The government, while taking this decision of converting the electricity meters of the country, is of the opinion that this change will bring progressive changes into India’s beleaguered power sector.
The new strategy of electricity meter changing is taken as a part of the government’s electricity distribution plan. The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) prepared the new strategy which is the apex power sector planning body of India. At a time, when the new government is targeting to supply 24x7 power to all, this new strategy is also taken as a part of their new electricity plans for the country.
The difference between a prepaid smart meter and the regular meters is that a smart meter functions only on being recharged with a certain amount. There is no system of paying monthly bills at the end of the month and the consumers will have to recharge the meters in advance to avail electricity supply at their homes.
Moreover, a smart meter does not allow its users to intervene in metering. One cannot tamper the meter and make changes in the billing amount. The smart meters require a two-way communication network. Moreover, the smart meter is designed to meet the new generation hi-tech needs as it can also be recharged through internet banking apart from buying the recharge coupons at the electricity office counters.
A power ministry statement said, “The draft plan is the first-ever plan at Distribution level which has been prepared by CEA, under the guidance of the ministry of power. Till now, the central government has been preparing Perspectives Plans for Generation and Transmission Sectors under the aegis of the National Electricity Plan (NEP). The Distribution plan keeps the needs of consumers at the center of its focus."