REMOTE METERING: A BREAKTHROUGH
Previously meter reading activity of HT consumers in
East Discom (as well as in other discoms in MP) was
undertaken manually and the billing was carried out
through punching of manually recorded reading data.
Despite the meters having data downloading features MRI
downloading was carried out merely by the Meter Testing
officials and that too was limited to once or twice in a
year owing to limited resources in comparison to number
of HT installations. Accordingly MRI downloads were not
available with MT wing for remaining period of year to
monitor /analyse the functioning of the metering system as
well as reading parameters.
To overcome this constraint, it was decided by the
company that billing of HT consumers should be carried
out through MRI downloads. Accordingly, after
successfully carrying out pilot and parallel billing this
billing system was implemented throughout the company
from September’ 06. In process monthly downloading of
reading data was made obligatory resulting into timely
detection and rectification of defects developed in
metering system. In addition to this discrepancies in the
consumption parameters billed could be detected and
rectified. Moreover the probability of error due to human
intervention was minimized to some extent.
During the exercise of billing of HT
Consumers through MRI downloads, it was observed that
substantial amount of time & manpower (in form of the 02
officers- one each from STM and O&M divisions) was
engaged in monthly meter reading of the HT consumers.
As per prevailing practice the meter reading officials were
also expected to carry out general inspection of the
consumer premises to obviate any probability of
malfunctioning of metering system as well as irregularity
connected with purpose of use. But, looking to the tight
‘Billing-Schedule’ inspection work during reading was
In view of the above, it was decided by the
company in Oct’06 that meter reading & inspection
activities be dealt separately. The meter reading activity
was decided to be undertaken through Remote Metering,
so that the valuable man power involved in meter reading
activity could be utilized in the more purposeful & result
oriented activities including Installation-Audit of the H.T.
Consumers/ high value L.T. Consumers.
ADVANCEMENT IN TECHNOLOGY
The advancement in metering technology has
enabled measurement and logging of various parameters,
e.g. Energy, Load Survey, Events, Transactions and
Tampers which are available in the electronic meters for
downloading / capturing through automated means in a
very short period of time. This, combined with
advancements in communication and software technology
has made it possible to automate and integrate the
metering, billing and monitoring processes by
implementing computerized systems which can seamlessly
integrate these processes by sharing a common database.
Considering the advantages it was decided to
develop and implement systems to achieve the objectives
in a phased manner.
The project was initiated with the following broad
I. End-to-end automation of metering and billing
II. Reduce time lag between meter reading and
III. Eliminate (manual) logistics and effort in meter
IV. Synchronized meter readings.
V. Improved vigilance.
VI. Monitoring and control of high value
VII. Centralized monitoring, control, database and
applications with distributed access and
VIII. Recognition of meter location in the network
and interfacing with energy audit.
IX. Meter history and tracking.
I. A centralized, flexible, open ended, scalable and
II. Possible to integrate with external (third party)
III. End-to-end automation of the MBC (metering,
billing and collection) process.
IV. Interfacing with other system (MIS, billing,
energy audit, CRM, data warehousing).
V. Common interface for multi vendor metering
VI. Technology conformance to open standards.
VII. Inbuilt security.
VIII. System recovery and availability.
I. Standardization in metering solutions provided
by meter vendors.
II. Open standards technology conformance in all
- Back-end RDBMS
- System architecture (Designed as n-tier,
present deployment on C/S platform).
- Application development and deployment
tools (Power Builder, SQL, Jaguar).
- Front end
- Data communication and acquisition: All
Meters , GSM Modems and BCS from M/s
Secure Meters Ltd.
- Network level
- O/s level: User Id / Password
- Application level: User Id / Password,
CRC checking in AMR data validation
- Database level: Access rights.
The overall expenses on the project, including Rs.32
lac approx. in respect of the Meter Monitoring Cell
building works out to be around Rs. 97 lac. The running
cost towards rental charges of SIMS are approximately
Rs.26000=00 per month which is very less as compared to
the expenses incurred previously on meter reading activity
- Implementation of business process change
resulting in consumer satisfaction, saving of time
and manpower, synchronization of meter reading,
accurate and timely reading for billing, validation
of meter reading before billing etc.
- Saving of operational expenses towards manual
meter reading (transportation and manpower).
- Disciplined billing cycle.
- Timely detection and rectification of defects
developed over period of time in the metering
- Elimination of errors inherent in the manual
- Automated reading and billing through remote
reading of 100 % HT consumers
- In-house Development of software for interfacing
meter reading data with billing system and
- End-to-end integration of metering and billing
- Additional Revenue recovery of Rs. 630 lac
through monitoring of AMR data against the
historical billing data.
- Daily monitoring of Tamper-events of all
consumers through event based dialing.
- Daily reading and analysis of consumption of
consumers having Contract Demand 5MVA and
above, power intensive units (rolling mills, ferro
alloys, steel plants) and seasonal consumers
during their season.
CONCLUSION AND FUTURE SCOPE
The AMR project initiated by the company has
been a big success as all its 731 HT consumers have
already been covered under it. Out of nearly 3600 high
value consumers above 25 hp nearly 49% have been
covered under the Project