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Smart Meter Programme to enable Rs 1.5 lakh cr investment in prepaid meters

Friday, 29 Mar 2024
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India's Smart Meter National Program (SMNP) aims to replace 25 crore conventional electricity meters with prepaid smart meters, along with upgrading infrastructure such as feeders and transformers. With an estimated capital expenditure of Rs 1.5 lakh crore, the scheme is slated for implementation over the next five fiscal years.

The SMNP utilises a flexible spending plan and a secure payment system, which will aid in getting more private companies involved and speed up the installation of smart meters. This would also make billing and payment collection easier for distribution companies (Discoms), as it helps track electricity usage in real time, allowing for precise supply schedules. In this framework, state distribution companies (discoms) will divide their areas among private concessionaires, wherby the companies will engage in buying, setting up, and maintaining smart meters for a 10-year period.

Contracts will be given out through open auctions where bids are based on the amount per smart meter which concessionaires will receive annually. Discoms are expected to fund these concessionaires, and will also receive grants from the Central government.

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