Anil Rawal, CEO of IntelliSmart, a three way partnership of NIIF and EESL, which is engaged on a challenge to implement good electrical energy meters throughout India, tells Vikas Srivastava in regards to the progress of the challenge. He says, India can save Rs 9.5 lakh crore by investing Rs 1.25 lakh crore for changing 25 crore typical meters. Excerpts:
What has been the progress on good meters after the FY21 Price range emphasised on substitute of typical meters?
Of the funding dedication by electrical energy discoms during the last two years together with the Rs 3 lakh crore introduced within the Price range 2021, good metering was a significant part. The proposed investments could also be ample. There are, nonetheless, challenges on the implementation entrance. Considerations relating to modalities round bidding for good meters and the Covid-19 pandemic impacted the work on floor. The B2C companies with direct interface with customers bought badly affected throughout Covid. The federal government just lately addressed the issues associated to bidding by introducing the usual bidding doc. Nonetheless, adoption continues to be a problem.
We’re presently working in six states and have an order ebook of 8 million good meters out of which now we have put in round 1.6 million meters.
What’s your small business mannequin and the way does it assist discoms?
We function on the so-called OpEx mannequin, which is a typical build-operate-transfer (BOT) mannequin, much like numerous PPP initiatives run by the federal government. On this case we make investments the cash and set up the good meters with out charging any cash. As soon as the meters are commissioned the utilities begin saving on the AT&C losses to the tune of Rs 225 per meter per thirty days on a median. We cost wherever between Rs 75- 100 per meter per thirty days. So these good meters turn into an instrument of pay as you save. Below this mannequin the discoms will not be investing something and pay the charges by means of financial savings they make.
There are additionally different gamers within the subject within the nation. How is the marketplace for good metering options evolving?
We’ve got numerous companions who’re working with us. We’re working with one other operator — EDF — in Bihar, In Rajasthan with Bosch, and in UP and Haryana we’re working with L&T. They’re our contractors and assist in executing the initiatives, whereas we make investments and take the chance. The good meters are fairly regulated home equipment as a result of they bear a authorities of India customary labels that are notified and licensed by CEA. So our contract particularly mentions that the meters must be CEA customary compliant.
What’s the pricing differential between typical and good meters, and the way quickly the utilities breakeven on the price?
This can be a pay-as-you-save mannequin. The break-even occurs the very first day discoms begin utilizing the meters. So it isn’t a query of break-even however return on funding.
At current India loses round 30% of its energy generated attributable to transmission, distribution, billing era and assortment inefficiencies. Implementation of 25 crore good meters throughout India would entail an funding of Rs 1.25 lakh crore by discoms. However, they are going to save round Rs 9.5 lakh crore on losses if funding is finished on challenge finance foundation. There’s a confirmed report and knowledge with us to again this declare from 16 lakh good meters put in by us.
What are the challenges in implementing good meters?
The discoms are using the capex mannequin that’s not environment friendly. As they arrange few thousand meters on capex mode, it takes away their worthwhile funds that may be invested into community correction. Small variety of good meters create knowledge islands that fail to serve the aim of digitalisation. Discoms ought to break the inertia of resisting the adoption of OpEx mannequin as it may be levered into a number of lakhs of meters. Right here, the funding is finished by IntelliSmart that’s backed by sovereign wealth fund NIIF.