Electricity & Gas Smart Meter – Benefit and Importance

Electricity & Gas Smart Meter – Benefit and Importance

Electricity & Gas Smart Meter – Benefit and Importance
Electricity & Gas Smart Meter – Benefit and Importance

Smart Meter which is called as Next Generation Meter is going to replace all the dump or traditional meter worldwide.  Since last 10 years industry has focused their attention towards this. It saves energy, time and money of all the Market Participants.

What is Smart Meter?

A Smart Meter is a type of meter which sends accurate measurement of Electricity and Gas to the Billing Company in order to produce correct Bill and Invoice. It’s digital meter which can take measurement of Energy on real time.

How does Smart Meter work?

In a simple word, Smart Meter is connected with WAN (Wider Area Network) which sends signal of the Meter read which is further connected with the server from where Supplier and other parties can access the measurement. No need to take read manually in Smart Meter case.

How does the Utility Market Designed?

To understand the benefit of Smart Meter, we should have better understand about the Participants and their activities. It is also important to know the inter relations among them.

 There are multiple Market Participants inter connected in Utility Industry:

  • ·        Transmission/Generation
  • ·        Distribution Network
  • ·        Supplier or Energy Manager
  • ·        Meter Operator
  • ·        Data Collector
  • ·        Data Aggregator
  • ·        Customer – Domestic and Commercial

Transmission/Generation: The core responsibility of this participant is to generate the energy (Gas and Electricity) from the original source and convert them into compatible form for further use.

Distribution Network: It’s Distributors who maintain Energy in all the required territory via pipeline (Gas) and Cables & Towers (Electricity). Distributor purchase Gas and Electricity from the Generation/Transmission Companies and further provides to the suppliers.

Supplier or Energy Manager: Supplier is solely responsible for billing and Invoicing against the consumption. Supplier purchases Gas and Electricity and provides to the households.

Meter Operator: Meter Operator reports to Supplier and manage Meters to ensure smooth consumption and calculation of the energy. Meter Operator performs various Meter related jobs like
-         Removal
-         Installation
-         Meter Exchange
-         Re-positioning
-         Energisation/De-Energisation
-         Data Correction etc.

Data Collector: Data Collector collects periodic and other reads from the premise and sends to supplier.

Data Aggregator: DA maintains Energy flow and suggests to supplier about the requirement of the customers in advance so that Energy can be maintained as and when required in accurate quantity in order to avoid any shortfall or access.

Customer – Domestic and Commercial: Customer can be an individual, group of people, firm or company. Customer pays for the energy consumed. Basis on the consumption capacity there are two types of customer – Domestic and Non Domestic. Domestic customer has less consumption as compared to Non Domestic.

Procedure to obtain Meter read for billing purpose in Non Smart Meter.

Below is step by step guideline to understand the procedures of accessing and utilizing meter reads for billing purpose:
1.     Supplier Contacts Customer to seek advice about type of meter and consumption requirement.
2.     Supplier Appoints Meter Operator to fit the relevant Meter at the premise.
3.     Supplier sets frequency of read and appoints Data Collector to obtain the same
4.     Data Collector visit at the premise to take Meter Read on regular basis.
5.     Basis on the Meter read supplier generates billing and Invoicing to the customer.

How Smart Meter has made the billing process easy and accurate?

·        No need to appoint Data Collector to obtain read on periodic basis.
·        Smart Meter calculates and sends Meter read on every moment.
·        Customer can also obtain read using his/her mobile or other device.
·        No need to perform any Meter Exchange if customer switches meter from Key to Credit or vice versa.
·        Less chance of any dispute between Customer and Supplier.
·        Read would be easily available at the time of Supplier Change or Final disconnection.

Does Smart Meter save cost to the market participants Involved into it?

Absolutely yes, because Smart Meter works effectively on every level and benefit goes to the every market participants directly and indirectly.
Customer: Customer is not bound to provide any read at any period of time. Customer can access their meter read remotely while sitting in office or driving car. No extra cost involved into it. In traditional Meter when customer moves out from his/her premise he/she has to access the read to get it availed to the supplier. Since accuracy of consumption is authentic hence customer gets correct Invoice for their utility consumption.

Data Collector: Earlier Supplier used to form a large team of Data Collector and Readers to obtain read on periodic basis however Smart Meter do not need any manual intervention and Data Collector can put the read into their system by accessing it remotely. Energisation, De-Energisation, Dis-Connection, Re-Connection, Read and Settlement Validation and many other activities can be performed remotely which is the best part of Smart Meter.

  Data Aggregator: Since Meter Read accessed by Smart Meter is very authentic hence Data Aggregator can aggregate future consumption very effectively with the help of less manpower and tools. There is less chance of Energy Shortfall or extra supply

   Supplier: Supplier is the prime Market Participants who benefitted with this Meter as Data Collector and Data Aggregator work for Supplier hence operating these two participants would be cost effective. Apart from this Supplier can issue correct bill and invoice to the customer. There is rare chance of incompatibility in Meter Read. Generating correct utility Invoice is itself a great step which can increase lots of customers from the market. It also increases Customer Satisfaction. Dispute between two or more supplier over the meter read will also decrease.

Apart from the above, other participants also have benefits from Smart Meter like if Transmission and Distributor have correct consumption history they can manage energy production and distribution effectively in less cost.

Especially in Electricity scenario Smart Meter acts a vital role as we should always keep one thing in our mind that Electricity can’t be stored. Un-used electricity is just wastage and its overall loss of revenue of country hence Government and other local body should promote Smart Meter efficiently.

Electricity & Gas Smart Meter – Benefit and Importance


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