The Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeECL) under the leadership of James K. Sangma, Power Minister marked a significant milestone on Wednesday as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) sponsored Smart Meter Project was launched in the State.
The first smart electricity meter was installed in the official residence of Hon’ble Power Minister James K Sangma and the second meter in the official residence of the Chairman-cum-Managing Director (CMD), Arunkumar Kembhavi.
The two pilot smart meters that were installed are found to be working without any technical issues for the last two days meeting all necessary parameters. In the coming months, the Department plans to install nearly 2 lakh smart meters across Meghalaya under this project.
The benefits and salient features of the smart meters are as follows:
- Smart usage– Consumers would be able to see exactly how much energy they are using and when they are using it thus enabling them to track and reduce electricity consumption as required.
- Accuracy– The consumers will no longer face problems of under billing, overbilling and non-billing. The consumers will only pay for what they are using.
- Online bill payment– The consumers will be able to pay their bills online through the MeghaPower portal without having to stand in queues to pay the bills.
- Lower operational costs and improved customer service– The introduction of smart meters will help the Department to lower operational costs as no manual readings will be required which will help in increasing billing efficiency in the State. The manpower used for manual readings will then be utilized for strengthening the operations and maintenance of the Department.
- Improved control– By a two-way communication mechanism between the consumers and MeECL, there will be remote connection and disconnection without the lineman entering the premises.
- Prepaid and Postpaid– The smart meters come with both prepaid and postpaid facilities. The Department will initially roll out postpaid operations in the State.
- Real-time monitoring– MeECL will be able to conduct power quality monitoring in near-real-time, taking into consideration factors such as maximum demand, voltage fluctuation, outage detection etc.
- Prevent electricity theft– The smart meters are tamper-proof. The meters will send alert signals to the Department if anyone tries to break the seal of the meter thus preventing electricity theft.