Government may incentivise use of “smart” metres

August 31st, 2010 - 2:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) The government is likely to incentivise the use of smart metres at homes, enabling users to monitor their power consumptions in real time and save on electricity bills by over 15 percent, officials said.
A smart metre is a device that uses smart grid technology, which integrates power generators and consumers to balance supply and demand.

It enables differential charges. At the peak hours charges will be more while at off-peak time or normal hours charges will be lower. This allows users to prioritise things and balance consumptions accordingly.

Sam Pitroda, adviser to the prime minister on public information infrastructure and innovation, representatives of power generation and distribution companies, smart metre manufacturers, researchers and officials will meet here Wednesday and take a decision on this.

“The meeting will be focused to encourage the use of smart grid technology in India,” Shekhar Sanyal, country head of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), told IANS.

“We work in close association with power ministry. They are helping in research and might incentivise use of the technology at household level,” Sanyal added.

Smart grid technology is an integration of communication, IT and power technology.

“It will transform the way we use energy. You can monitor your air conditioners, lights, televisions and other appliances in real time through smart grid technology,” said John Scott, director of network innovation at KEMA Consulting.

He said just by optimising the uses, smart metres can help reduce power consumption by more than 15 percent. “This is very important for the energy-deficient countries like India,” Scott added.

Nearly one-third Indians have no access to power. Frequent power cut is a regular phenomenon even in the metros like New Delhi and Mumbai. At peak hours, power deficit rises to nearly 20 percent in major parts of the country. This highlights the need to use innovative measures to bridge the gap between demand and supply.

On the cost of smart metre, Scott said the new technology was bound to cost more as it was not mass produced.

“Cost will, of course, be higher. But the savings in electricity bill will more than compensate it,” Scott, director of London-based consulting firm said. A smart metre costs nearly 100 pounds in Britain.

– Indo-Asian News Service

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