Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy R.K. Singh today in a written reply in Rajya Sabha informed about the sanctioning of over 7 lakh smart meters under the National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM), across the country.
What is smart metering?
As the name suggests, a smart meter provides the consumer with an accurate and objective tracking system to monitor their real-time energy consumption.
For example, a smart meter attached to a natural gas line can track the number of thermal units consumed by the facility. The smart device also enables the user to control the flow of the resource being used, such as natural gas, water or electricity. Further, it also allows the meter to be controlled remotely.
The objectives behind installing Smart Meters are manifold, including:
– To help consumers in seamless online billing process & digital payment of bills
– To enable users to have access to real-time tracking of electricity usage
– To help consumers track their consumption patterns and adopt more energy-efficient behaviors & appliances
– To provide users with an option to pre-pay for electricity based on their requirements & thus be in control of their total energy spends
– To enable time of day metering to play a pivotal role in the integration of renewable power
– To help DISCOMs function remotely by eliminating manual collections and reduced AT&C losses.
Smart meters have the advantages of remote metering and billing, implementation of peak and off-peak tariffs, and demand-side management through demand response.
These benefits would soon become critically imminent for load-generation balancing due to the increasing penetration of intermittent types of generation like wind and solar power.
Smart meters can therefore be mandated for:
(i) Consumers with monthly consumption of 500 units and more at the earliest but not later than 31.12.2017
(ii) Consumers with monthly consumption above 200 units by 31.12.2019.
What is National Smart Grid Mission?
The National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM) was established in India in 2016 to plan and monitor the implementation of policies and programs related to Smart Grid activities in India. It’s an institutional mechanism for planning, monitoring, and implementation of policies and programs related to Smart Grid activities.
It is housed under the Ministry of Power (MoP). Other Ministries like the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), and Ministry of Heavy Industry (MoHl) are also associated with the Mission.