Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has proposed a variety of initiatives to provide smart meter connections to consumers. NEA will now deploy about one lakh smart meters through two distribution centers in Kathmandu. This will eventually be extended throughout the country.
NEA smart meter connection:
The government started the project to provide smart meters to the residents of Kathmandu back in 2019. NEA‘s officials then began visiting individual homes to gather information for the devices. Now, it has begun replacing the old meter connections in the Maharajgunj and Ratnapark distribution centers’ vicinity with smart ones.
The implementation took place as part of the project called “Kathmandu Valley Smart Metering Project (KVSM)”. With the help of 94 crores in loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the authority has already distributed 52,000 smart meters in the valley. There are altogether 97,000 consumers in the region.
According to project chief Rabindra Shrestha, the project was disrupted for some time due to the COVID-19 pandemic but is now running smoothly. China’s Pingo and Wisdom company got the contract for smart meters.
Furthermore, the government intends to expand the project throughout the Kathmandu Valley using a concessional loan from the ADB. NEA plans to connect 3 lakh 75 thousand households to smart meters in the first phase.
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What does a smart meter do?
Smart meters allow for real-time data monitoring of a household’s energy consumption. This will allow NEA to take meter readings remotely, eliminating the need for an NEA staff to visit consumers’ homes. The authority requires a radio-frequency channel to send all of this information.
Moreover, NEA can even remotely connect and disconnect the power supply. Consumers, on the other hand, may track their consumption in real-time and even sell excess energy generated by the house’s solar panels.
RF battle with NTA
NEA has submitted an application to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology for a dedicated radio-frequency. However, NTA has sought a fee of Rs. 2 billion for a frequency range between 393 and 398.5MHz. On the contrary, NEA claims that it should be given free of charge in accordance with international practices.
Instead of paying such a hefty fee, the authority prefers to stick with their present strategy of employing meter readers.
NEA smart meters for all
Nepal Electricity Authority will now issue smart meters to all consumers. Previously, such connections were only available to three-phase and TOD (Time Of Day) consumers, but smart meters will soon be available to single-phase consumers as well. For this, NEA has invited tenders for the purchase of 500,000 units of smart meters.
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