Tamil Nadu government subsidy to TANGEDCO
A senior official pointed out that if all the government departments pay the money pending to Tangedco, the discom will be able to pay off its debts to power generators.

Tangedco fails to make smart switch, loses revenue

Tangedco has missed the bus to implement a scheme to change the digital meters with smart ones. Several states have made the switch enabling discoms to increase their revenue.

A smart meter works really smart for both Tangedco as well as for consumers. On the consumer side, it gives a chance to the consumer to have a prepaid meter that works just like a prepaid mobile connection and the consumer will be alerted about a recharge. The consumer will also have the option to have a post-paid connection.

Also read: TANGEDCO in financial distress as govt refuses to revise tariffs

On the Tangedco side, even charging a mobile phone or an AC stabilizer is charged and this increases the revenue for Tangedco. Smart meters are connected to a server and at the end of each month, the consumer will get details about the total units consumed, the total money to be paid etc through SMS and email. No assessor needs to record the reading.

Tangedco was asked to join a tender floated by Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) in 2018, but the government did not allow the discom to participate in the tender. Smart meters were to be provided free to consumers while it will cost Rs 3,000 per meter for Tangedco.

“The EESL is the designated agency to implement the smart metering programme in India. Under this programme, a total of 1.5 crore smart meters have been installed so far, to enhance consumer convenience and rationalize electricity consumption,” said a senior EESL official.

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The EESL has enabled discoms in generating around 95% of billing efficiency by using smart meters even during the lockdown and 15-20% average increase in monthly revenue per consumer.

“States like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, NDMC New Delhi and Bihar have installed smart meters,” said the official.

The EESL has signed MoUs for smart meters with Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, NDMC-Delhi, Rajasthan, Telangana and for prepaid meters with the states of Uttar Pradesh and Tripura.

By EESL’s smart metering project, NDMC becomes the first utility to have all their consumers linked with smart meters without any upfront investment from NDMC

Under this programme, EESL has completed the procurement process of 1.5 crore smart meters. As on date, EESL has installed over 13.2 lakh smart meters in Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi, Haryana and Bihar under this programme.

As per the EESL, the states in which smart meters are set up, the distribution loss has declined by 11% to 30%. “Billing efficiency increased by 21% and this led to increase in revenue to various discoms to the extent of Rs 264 crore,” said the official.

“We wanted to start changing the digital meters with smart meters in T Nagar under the smart city scheme. We started changing the meters, but it was derailed due to the COVID pandemic,” said a Tangedco official.

Unless Tangedco changes to smart meters, the people of Tamil Nadu will not be able to get the benefits which other states have got.

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