Nepal Electricity Authority has introduced a new smart metering system in the Kathmandu Valley.
Benefits of the New Meters
These Smart electricity meters have benefits like reduced meter reading costs, tariffs based on time/load and Cut Aggregate Technical and Commercial loss. The smart meters enables the real-time data monitoring of the energy usage at each home/business. They can even connect or disconnect the electricity supply remotely.
The most important feature might be that this new meter allows reading the meter from the distribution center itself. So, the NEA officers don’t have to wait for you to open your door or fear getting bitten by your dogs. Not only that, but customers can also view the consumption details including current and the historical data, either through a web portal or a mobile app.
Where are These New Meters?
According to onlinekhabar, the advanced meter reading infrastructure (AMI) has been installed at 362 residential houses and office buildings which are under the Ratna Park distribution center of the NEA. NEA is giving priority to corporate customers over domestic customers for now. This is just the first phase of the project.
How do these Smart Meters work?
They have an RF module inside the meters which sends the recorded digital information to the server through several connectivity options like WiFi, non-cellular IoT (Zigbi, Lora, Sigfox and more) and cellular connectivity (2G, 3G, 4G and beyond).
In the case of cellular connectivity, they put a SIM card in the RF module of the meter. Using the 2G or 3G or 4G connectivity, the smart meter sends the usage data to the server periodically. NEA has partnered with NTC (Nepal Telecom) to provide the SIM card for the cellular data connectivity.
The advent of such devices based on IoT is a good sign for technology in Nepal. The automation of billing for something as basic as electricity should have been done a long time before. But, it’s always ‘better late than never’.