Smart Meters to be Installed in Gujarat Government Offices First, Then in Homes

For the past week, there have been protests in Surat and Vadodara, Gujarat, over smart meters. In response, the government has decided to first install smart meters in all government offices in Gujarat for testing. Only after successful trials in government offices will the new smart meters be installed in homes.

Balancing the Amounts of Old and New Meters

Energy Department MD Jayprakash Shivhare stated that they will move forward with the project only after gaining public trust. There will be no coercion; smart meters will be installed in government offices. People will be educated about the meters in the areas where they are installed. Pending bills will be taken in EMIs. The amounts of the old and new meters will be balanced. There are tariff plans based on consumption, so people should understand the tariff. They will proceed only after people are satisfied. Currently, they will start with government offices.

Efforts to Track All Cases Reported in the Media

Shivhare further mentioned that efforts have been made to track all cases reported in the media. Investigations have been conducted in all cases, and no facts have been found to support the concerns. They have data from the time they have been consumers. They are committed to investigating any complaints from those who have been making payments with smart meters until now.

Proceeding Only After Gaining Public Trust

Additionally, it was stated that they will proceed only after gaining public trust. They plan to install smart meters in the homes of dignitaries. They request everyone not to fall for any rumors. If any fault is found in even one meter, the responsibility is theirs. They are ready to conduct analyses. They are prepared to check each bill. They will keep both meters running. They appeal to people to report any discrepancies they find. They accept responsibility for any issues. They confidently challenge that there are no faults in the meters. If any faults are found, it is their responsibility to correct them.

Why the Project Was Started?

Tejas Patel, the Managing Director of MGVCL, informed Divya Bhaskar that in 2021, the Government of India issued a notification mandating the implementation of smart meters for all customers except those in agriculture. Based on this notification, we initiated this project in Central Gujarat.

27,000 Smart Meters Installed Under Pilot Project

Tejas Patel stated that under the pilot project, we have installed smart meters for a total of 27,000 customers. Although the project aimed to install 25,000 meters, we exceeded this goal and installed 27,000 meters. We will analyze the data from these meters and address the concerns raised by the public as we move forward.

Smart Meters Installed in Vadodara, Godhra, and Nadiad

Tejas Patel further mentioned that the pilot project aims to understand how we can collect and utilize data from these meters and how it will benefit the customers. We began the project in my own home in Central Gujarat and then installed smart meters in government colonies in Vadodara, Godhra, and Nadiad. Different areas have varying customer needs, especially since some meters have a DCI unit that transmits data to the system. Therefore, we selected diverse geographical locations within Central Gujarat to gather comprehensive information. The pilot project also helps us identify and resolve connectivity issues.

Meter Account Starts on the Day of Installation

He added that when an old bill is provided to the customer and subsequently replaced with a smart meter, the usage during this transition period is billed over six months. Simply put, the smart meter account starts from the day the meter is installed in your home. All units are recorded in the smart meter, and energy charges are calculated based on daily unit consumption. This calculation is reflected in the daily billing, which is deducted from the prepaid balance. The charges applied are the same as those in the routine bill but calculated daily in the smart meter.

Niyati Rao

Niyati Rao is a seasoned writer and avid consumer who specializes in crafting informative and engaging articles and product reviews. With a passion for research and a knack for finding the best deals, Niyati enjoys helping readers make informed decisions about their purchases.