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Home News Power Sector News Metering and Energy Auditing - SEB's Bread and Butter

Metering and Energy Auditing - SEB's Bread and Butter

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Energy Meter - Bread and butter of power utilitiesA lot has been talked about and discussed on the     move by utilities in India to change the existing Electro-Mechanical meters to Static Meters.  It is only natural that when an existing system is changed a large hue and cry can be expected and that was what happened recently in KSEB also.  The issue was discussed in the print and Electronic Media and even in the assembly.  Now that the issue has settled down it is appropriate, that one looks at it in an impartial way taking into account the advances made in Metering, world over.

A lot has been talked about and discussed on the     move by utilities in India to change the existing Electro-Mechanical meters to Static Meters.  It is only natural that when an existing system is changed a large hue and cry can be expected and that was what happened recently in KSEB also.  The issue was discussed in the print and Electronic Media and even in the assembly.  Now that the issue has settled down it is appropriate, that one looks at it in an impartial way taking into account the advances made in Metering, world over.
Most of the utilities have been incurring huge losses for a large period of time and this state of affairs could not be allowed to continue any further in the interest of the utilities and the consumer. The one and only reason for losses incurred by the utilities, were the huge amount of losses incurred in the Transmission and Distribution fields.  The losses in the distribution field can be easily brought down if only proper attention is given to the metering side in the distribution of power.
Energy meters are a vital link between the utilities and the consumers. It is on the basis of these meters that the utilities are able to raise bill and collect revenue for electrical power supplied to various customers. Metering is no longer limited to revenue collection, but has graduated into areas of load control system planning and reduction of T&D losses. Accurate metering of electricity will not only help in increasing revenue collection, but will also constitute to better load control and systems planning and reduction of T&D losses.
Meters are being treated by utilities as a cash register for a distribution utility business. These cash register for distribution utilities are dispersed widely across the utilities service area and are located on premises not in control of the utilities. Over the years little or no attention has been paid to keep these cash register accurate and in ensuring that the cash registers faithfully report the value of the service used by the customers. Both the locations and the attributes of the cash registers make it impossible to guarantee that they cannot be tampered. Indeed over the years, some very innovative forms of fraud have been found and used on utility meters. The resulting loss of revenue is not known to the utilities and hence little or nothing has been done to protect the revenue.  In India the problem of high T & D losses has been known for some time.  Only recently has it dawned among the utilities the damage this has caused, as the losses incurred due to theft have been far in excess of that previously published.  The reasons for fraud are complex and revolve undeniably around the prevalent social patterns.  The million dollar question staring at the utilities is to determine cost justifiable strategies to overcome the losses.
The most critical issue dogging the Power sector is the poor financial health of the State Electricity Boards due to monitory losses.  Most of the SEB’s have a negative rate of return.  One of the main reasons for the State of affairs is the high Transmission and Distribution losses.  It is estimated that the losses incurred by most SEB’s fall in the range of 25% to 40%.  Developed countries have losses less than 10% and in most of the developing countries including China, these losses are much less than 25%. A large part of the losses in India are due to the so called Non technical factors. –   Theft and Fraud. The SEB’s losses can be reduced by more than half if this hole can be plugged with the new technologies available for metering and billing viz. Electronic Meters, pre paid metering systems, remote metering etc.,
An attempt has been made here to have a review of metering and energy  audit with the technology  option available to the various utilities dealing with Electronic Metering systems applicable to Indian environment.
 

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