NEA: Traditional electric meters will become historyThe Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) plans to replace the good old household electricity meter with smart meters that will eliminate the need for meter readers.
The Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) plans to replace the good old household electricity meter with smart meters that will eliminate the need for meter readers.
Smart meters will allow the state-owned power utility to record the amount of power consumed and send the bill to its customers without a meter reader having to visit their homes.
In the first phase, the NEA will replace 90,000 traditional analog meters with digital smart meters in a bid to improve revenue collection and control electricity leakage. The move is part of the Power Transmission and Distribution Efficiency Enhancement Project (PTDEEP) being executed by the Nepal government in association with the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Apart from installing smart meters, the $180 million project expects to meet the growing energy demand of the Kathmandu Valley and increase the capacity and reliability of distribution networks by undergrounding and automating the networks and using insulated cables for overhead lines.
The NEA has prepared the bid documents to invite global tenders to install the 90,000 smart meters, and has sent it to the ADB for its evaluation.
“We will call for global tenders as soon as the multilateral lender approves the document,” said Manoj Silwal, chief of the Project Management Directorate at the NEA. “If everything goes as planned, we will be publishing a tender notice to install 90,000 smart meters in the Kathmandu Valley within a few weeks.”
After the smart meters have been installed, the NEA will gradually phase out traditional meters throughout the country and install digital meters.
Subsequently, the NEA will introduce different rates for electricity consumed during different times of the day. “The tariff will be cheaper for energy consumed during off-peak hours while it will be dearer for electricity consumed during peak hours,” said Kulman Ghising, managing director of the NEA.
The installation of smart meters will also allow the NEA to automatically disconnect the line of customers who do not pay their electricity bills on time.
According to Ghising, this provision will be instrumental in streamlining revenue collection and help the power utility to reduce arrears.