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Home / Industry / Energy /  EESL in talks with states for supply of 10 mn smart meters

State-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd (EESL) is in talks to supply 10 million smart meters to the governments of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Rajasthan, among others, a top official at the state-run company said, in what would be the biggest such order in the country.

The number also includes additional smart meters for Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, areas where EESL had previously supplied smart meters to help check thefts, said Saurabh Kumar, executive vice chairperson, EESL Group.

India is rolling out the world’s largest electricity smart metering programme. This has attracted organizations such as Canada’s largest pension fund manager Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) and sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA). On Saturday, EESL signed agreements with South Bihar Power Distribution Co. Ltd and North Bihar Power Distribution Co. Ltd to install a total of 2.34 million smart prepaid meters in Bihar.

A smart meter architecture minimizes human intervention in the metering, billing and collection process, and helps reduce theft by identifying loss pockets. Such a system assumes importance as India’s discoms incurred an aggregate loss of 85,000 crore in 2018-19, which was worsened by the covid-19 pandemic.

EESL, along with IntelliSmart, its joint venture with India’s quasi-sovereign wealth fund National Investments and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), has orders to supply around 7.78 million smart meters. Of these, 1.6 million smart meters have been installed.

In a separate development, India’s ambitious scheme to offer the world’s cheapest LED bulbs in rural areas at 10, is expected to be launched in Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh), Vadnagar (Gujarat), Arrah (Bihar), Vijayawada (Andhra Pardesh), and Nagpur (Maharashtra) next month, Kumar said.

This rural push from the state-run firm comes against the backdrop of protests by farmer against new farm laws. The scheme is also expected to provide a boost for Make in India and will burnish India’s climate change credentials.

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