BHUBANESWAR, FEBRUARY 2, 2021
TP Central Odisha Distribution Limited (TPCODL), a joint venture between Tata Power and the Government of Odisha, will introduce smart meters in its distribution areas from April this year.
Talking to media persons here on Tuesday, TPCODL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) M Shenbagam informed that in the first phase smart meters would be provided to high-end consumers whose monthly electricity consumption is more than 300 units. Later on, it will be provided to all the customers, and the entire process will be completed within two-and-a-half year.
Explaining the benefits of smart meter, Shenbagam said that it provides a win-win platform for both the utility and the consumers through very tangible benefits such as remote meter reading, improving billing and collection efficiency, curbing power theft, reducing aggregate technical & commercial (AT&C) losses, incentivising energy conservation and facilitating easy bill payments.
The project will help TPCODL provide greater service options and accurate information to customers on energy consumption patterns, thus helping them monitor and regulate their consumption, so they can save money on power bills, he added.
The TPCODL CEO further said that the company identified around 2.5 lakh defective meters when it took over from CESU eight months back, and by end of December 2020 it has already replaced 1.23 lakh defective meters with new ones; and has set a target to replace all the defective meters by the end of the current fiscal, thus reducing the non-technical losses.
The AT&C loss which stood at 30.4 percent when TPCODL took over from CESU, has to be brought down to 13.5 percent in next 10 years as per the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) directive. TPCODL is confident of achieving the target within the stipulated time, and hopes to reduce this loss to 23.7 percent in the next three years, informed Shenbagam.
TPCODL is investing heavily on infrastructure development to check the AT&C losses. Shenbagam said 10 to 12 per cent of the total AT&C loss is technical which needed more investment to upgrade the distribution system. The company has also brought all its electrical assets under GIS Mapping system for better management and quick restoration of power in case of any disruption in supply chain.
This apart, power pilferage, especially in rural areas, is another critical issue which will be addressed by the company to check commercial losses, said the TPCODL CEO.
Shenbagam further said that TPCODL will invest Rs 400 crore in the financial year 2021-22 in Safety, IT, Networking and other distribution infrastructure development. Safety will be the focus area for the company and 25 percent of the estimated investment amount will be spent on this. The Company will be investing Rs 200 crore in the current fiscal for development of power distribution infrastructure, he added.
The power utility is leveraging technology to improve the performance of its assets and improve customer satisfaction. With an aim to provide reliable power supply and ensure consumer satisfaction, TPCODL has rolled out user-friendly mobile Apps for consumers for quick redressal of their grievances. A person can even apply for a new connection online by using the ‘Mo Bidyut’ platform of TPCODL. TPCODL, which is presently serving 27.72 lakh customers in five circles – Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri, Paradip and Dhenkanal –, has so far added more than 70,000 new customers to its consumer base, and is adding around 7,000 consumers every month.