Power minister Piyush Goyal on 23-01-2017 pitched for wider use of smart electricity meters and urged the electrical equipment industry to come up with innovations that suit the domestic consumer as the country strives to use energy efficiently.
Addressing industry executives at the beginning of a three-day conference organized by the Indian Electrical & Electronics Manufacturers Association (IEEMA), Goyal said smart meters, which are crucial for a roof-top solar power plant which is connected to the grid to sell surplus power, can be a game changer. Selling surplus power to the grid enables a roof top solar power plant owner to recover the cost of the plant.
"I am given to understand that in some smart meter tender for only 10,000 units, the quotations were of Rs3,000. Now if 10,000 meters can be bought or sold for Rs3,000, imagine the price that can be discovered at a scale of 25 crore smart meters. We have the example of LED bulbs," Goyal said. The government's efficient lighting programme has led to a decline in the public procurement price of LED bulbs sharply to just over Rs 50 apiece from more than Rs300 less than two years ago.
Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd. is now installing 200,000 smart meters and is planning to scale it up to 1.5 million in five to six years, while Reliance Power Ltd-owned BSES Yamuna Power Ltd and BSES Rajdhani Power Ltd, which supply electricity in Delhi, are also installing smart meters for customers in phases.
"Smart meter can be a game changer when it comes to planning the electricity sector in the long run," said Goyal.
The central government is prompting state-owned power distribution utilities to improve operational and billing efficiency under the Ujjwal Assurance Discom Yojna rolled out in November 2015.
"Our electrical industry should come up with indigenous innovation. It is important that we look at our own situation and come up with solutions relevant for the Indian consumer, our climate and our level of incomes," said Goyal.