Nepal Electricity Authority has started installing smart meter connections for households. The current Covid-19 crises have surely made an impact on the way things run in our day-to-day life. Foreseeing a similar situation, people haven’t been able to pay the actual bills due to no meter reading.
With the smart electricity meter connection, people will able to read the meter from their household in a very easy way. So, NEA has initiated replacing the single-phase utility meter for household customers, with a smart meter.
Although NEA enables people to read their meter themselves, it is still difficult for them. They have also launched a mobile app for this self meter reading and more.
Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Mr. Barshaman Pun on Sunday started the connection work by replacing the single-phase meter in the ward office of Budhanilkantha Municipality-9 in Mandikhatar with a smart meter.
Earlier, the sole electricity supplier NEA had been focusing on installing those smart meters for 3 phase lines of factories, industries in major areas including Kathmandu. Read about Smart Electricity meters and the benefits.
Some Insights on the Initiative
The cost of this single-phase smart meter connection project is around Rs 1 billion. The project is being executed on a concessional loan by the Asian Development Bank. The bidding process has moved ahead to replace the existing 400,000 meters in the Kathmandu Valley with smart meters.
According to NEA, there are about 5 million customers who use the Single-Phase meter in the country at present. So, to start the initiative, firstly, about one lakh meters of single-phase and three-phase customers of Ratna Park and Maharajgunj distribution centres will be replaced by smart meters.
Secondly, once this meter is connected, home customers will be able to read the meter on their own which will also reduce the operating cost of NEA. As per NEA MD, they can reduce up to three thousand employees for just meter reading work.
Managing Director of NEA, Mr Kulman Ghising said, “the cost of 2,500 to 3,000 employees would be reduced in the coming days as there would be no need for staff for meter reading after the use of smart meters.”
The data on the consumption of electricity from the customer’s house goes to the control centre of NEA, using small data connectivity. So, it will still be possible to go to the house to read the meter if there is no such connection. NEA has used Nepal Telecom’s SIM card to connect the Internet of things (IoT) smart utility device to its control centre.
Furthermore, for the customers who don’t pay the electricity bill on time, NEA will cut off the line. While the NEA will still have all its administrative controls, the automatic meter reading will help customers to pay their bills from home easily.
Smart metering system for the household
With the motto of Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepalis, this initiative will also modernize and streamline the services provided by the state bodies. Moreover, Minister Pun said that the launch of a smart meter connection is also a milestone to achieve that.
Additionally, this modern system will benefit not only the NEA but also the overall electricity transmission and consumption of all the nation.
Peak hours in electricity consumption
We should know this fact that due to the implementation of Smart Meter, NEA can implement different electricity tariffs on the basis of the peak, off-peak and normal hours. That means you get low charges during the non-peak and normal hours which is normally in the day, morning time. Whereas NEA can charge a higher tariff on the peak hours.
This way the smart meter can help NEA to manage the peak-hour electricity demand as people mostly will try to reduce their consumption during the busy hours. So, people can also reduce their electricity bills in that period.
Season based billing
NEA keeps on sharing reports that there is more electricity generation in the rainy season. So they can apply affordable charges to increase their consumption in the monsoon. This will also be effective for the winter tariffs as well where the cost will be high, due to low electricity production.
So, the smart meter enables this modern billing system which makes the electricity consumption and revenue more optimum than the classic system.
Prepaid and Postpaid
The smart meter for the household will have both postpaid and prepaid functions. So, customers can choose the postpaid and prepaid as per their wish. Similarly, it will also support online billing for the customers’ benefit and flexibility. Moreover, NEA has already made 8,222 TOD (Time of Day) meters smart connections across the country.
The Kathmandu Valley Smart metering project comes as per the NEA’s plan to implement smart meter to control the power leakage and make efficient meter reading. The Smart meter is also useful for the people, due to the digital bills. Additionally, the easy monitoring of consumption (in KWh or units) via the web or mobile apps allows them to control their usage.
The smart electricity meter is one of the most popular Internet of Things (IoT) applications in Nepal. The Smart meter currently uses Nepal Telecom SIM cards for data connectivity. Find other IoT Internet of things applications in Nepal.
So, we can conclude by saying this will surely be a great initiative for the country. If the project works as stated, there will be a new era for the power system of the country. Please comment if you are willing to install a Smart electricity meter in your home?
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