India is currently one of the biggest energy consumers in the world and demand for energy is only expected to grow in future. The country also has one of the biggest power transmission networks in the world. However, high Transmission and Distribution losses and high incidence of power theft have been a major area of concern. All these challenges present a huge market and opportunity for energy meters in India.
Energy meters have the potential to lay the groundwork to enable an era of smarter, connected-homes. Energy meters provide utilities with the infrastructure to deliver new services to customers, like home energy management and demand response programs, in ways that previously weren’t possible. Energy meters can inform consumers how much electricity they are using at every hour of the day. And as utilities move toward time of use pricing, this gives consumers real power over the cost of their bill at the end of each month. With energy meters consumers can now make decisions about their electricity use. Energy meters present a great opportunity for utilities to change customer behaviour with regard to their energy use. But it will require guidance from utilities to show consumers how the information smart meters provide can be empowering.
Introduction of these energy meters will be the lifeline of metering industry and would give strong support to the government’s initiatives to create smart cities. Therefore, they will witness lot of developments and technological advancements owing to growing demand of electricity in the forthcoming year. We are expecting that policy makers will give lot of emphasis on the issues such as depletion of AT&C (Aggregate Technical & Commercial) losses. Reduction in commercial losses is the biggest advantage of having energy meter and this will be a major growth driver of the sector. Smart meters will reach both commercial and residential segments owing to multiple benefits like saving the cost of manual meter reading; conquering the problems related to electricity theft, collection inefficiencies and poor billing. The government is showing lot of interest in acquisition of smart metering technologies and lot of schemes and announcements are expected. Net metering could be one of the major step in this direction in order to achieve energy security by 2022. Net metering for rooftop installations allows users to ‘net off’ their energy bill for every unit sent back to the grid after one’s own consumption. This is advantageous because it promotes solar energy installations and generation; it takes pressure off the grid especially when the demand is high; it saves money for utility companies on meter installation, billing, etc.; and, last but not the least, it helps our state achieve its solar energy target.
Energy meters are user-friendly and guide customers about their energy usage and requirements. Information provided by smart meters is a big tool to empower the users. Smart metering helps customers in saving energy and money, which can help them to better manage their budgets. Budgets can also be aided through more accurate invoices that reflect actual consumption and can support prepayment programs. Through greater accuracy and communication, as well as simplifying actions like switching procedures and making meter reading non-intrusive, customer satisfaction can be enhanced.
Metering industry has witnessed unprecedented development in terms of technology. Many advanced features such as time of day metering, automatic meter reading and prepaid metering emerged as a result. The government is taking lot of initiatives for the growth of the sector. There have been announcements for schemes like Integrated Power Development Scheme and Deendayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana. This resulted into increased demand for the meters.
Initiatives of the government like 100 smart cities will give further impetus to the growth of this sector as efficient energy storage and distribution is the lifeline for any smart city. Metering at all levels (incomers, feeders & distribution transformers) drive the growth for metering industry.
Schneider Electric continues to grow in Panel Metering space while retaining its leadership position in the market. With enhanced emphasis on organisation wide ‘Smart Power’ initiative, it is expected to grow further. Through Smart Power, customers can expect complete integration of Powergear, Controlgear, Metering & WAGES on a common platform called PME (Power Monitoring Expert). It comes fully loaded with Billing (for tenant billing & cost allocation), Energy Analysis, Energy Awareness, Power Quality & UPS performance modules for achieving overall objective of Smart Enterprise.
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