Smart Metering Infrastructure UPSC

Smart Metering Infrastructure | UPSC


How smart metering infrastructure can help distressed power sector

      WHY IN NEWS:

AT&C losses are major contributors to overall power losses in the sector.

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Power
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3: Energy : Electricity


After reading this article you will be able to answer :

  • What is a Smart Grid ?
  • National action Plan .
  • How can smart metering reduce Attenuation and transmission losses ?
  • A comprehensive plan to implement the same .


When electricity demand is expected to rise by 95% by 2030, India’s power sector is marred with high Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses


  • Electricity demand is expected to nearly double by 2030.

The high aggregate technical and commercial (AT&C) losses ruin the power sector.

  • The reliance on postal services in sending bills to customers, delayed payments, and collecting tariffs from inaccessible geographical locations has prompted a need to look for an alternative.
  • AT&C losses are major contributors to overall power losses in the sector.
  • As a result, distribution utilities lose almost 72 paise per unit of electricity they purchase.

The country aims to cut AT&C losses under 12 per cent by 2022 and below 10 per cent by 2027

  • The losses are currently pegged at 20 per cent.
  • India is also transforming its energy mix by installing more non-fossil fuel-based energy generation technologies.

Smart Metering Infrastructure UPSC


A smart grid has been defined as self-sufficient systems enabling the integration of power generation sources of any type and/or scale to the electrical grids.

A smart grid aims to offer safe, reliable, high-quality and sustainable electricity to consumers and organizations alike. 

  • Smart grids include various energy measures such as smart meters, smart appliances, renewable energy resources, and energy efficient resources.


  • More efficient transmission of electricity
  • Quicker restoration of electricity after power disturbances
  • Reduced operations and management costs for utilities, and ultimately lower power costs for consumers

Reduced peak demand, which will also help lower electricity rates 

  • Increased integration of large-scale renewable energy systems
  • Better integration of customer-owner power generation systems, including renewable energy systems
  • Improved security


  • Smart grids are entrusted to both integrate renewable energy and reduce AT&C losses.
  • The smart-grids are digitally augmented electricity grids .
  • It is automated and used to manage the increasing intricacies on the supply as well as the demand side.

The smart grid enhances quality management of distribution and transmission in terms of voltage control, rerouting, reliability, monitoring and control.

  • Advanced Smart Metering Infrastructure (AMI) provides a reliable and effective solution for most of these drivers.
  • Smart meters can be used for checking data entry errors and cutting costs of manual metering.


  • Two-way communications with customers
  • Remote meter reading for error-free data
  • Identifying network problems
  • Load profiling, energy audit
  • Partial load curtailment in place of load shedding.

Smart Metering Infrastructure UPSC


  • High upfront cost of advance metering infrastructure projects.
  • Establishing a strong business case for smart meter investments

Full benefits of smart meters going unrecognised by cyber-security and data analytics

  • Another hurdle in smart metering is software integration with the new system.


  • The Union government has targeted to install smart electricity meters in all households across the country within three years.

The Smart Metering Programme (SMP) is helping electricity distribution companies generate 95 per cent of billing efficiency during the lockdown.

  • The MoP National Smart Grid Mission (NSGM), has developed an IT-enabled tool for analysing the investments and returns of any project.
  • Legacy regulations shall accommodate more technological solutions to ease the doing of business of smart metering.
  • Unlike regular metering, it enhances consumer satisfaction through better complaint management, system stability, reliability and transparency.
  • Moreover, from the utility’s perspective, the major driver for pushing towards smart meters is the reduction in AT&C loss.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP) by EESL aims to replace 25 crore conventional meters with smart meters in India and are at various stages of implementation.

Around 1.9 million smart meters have been installed in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar and Delhi.

  • The total project cost would be around 1500 billion.
  • The project will include the direct cost of purchase, and hand-holding over 10 years
  • Smart meters have been in existence around the world for a long time. However, India lags behind.
  • The onset of smart meters would solve some of the power sector’s problems.

Communication with the consumers and addressing the knowledge gaps about the importance of smart meters is crucial.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | Smart Metering Infrastructure UPSC


If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for Daily Current Affairs , Editorial Analysis & Answer writing video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

You May Also Like