Prepaid Energy Meter using Smart Cards is an efficient scheme of electricity billing. It is beneficial to consumers and power plant in terms of revenue and power sector reforms. Prepayment metering system had improved operational efficiencies, Reduced financial risks and provides better customer service. Factors that can impact the initiative are Customer behaviour, Initial investment, rapid technology changes, uncertainty over success. Recently many countries had introduced Prepaid Energy Meter using Smart Cards like South Africa, India and England. In India Tata power (Delhi and Jamshedpur) and Mumbai BEST service is following this scheme.
Present prepayment system is difficult to install and costly. There is no communication back to utility from meter. Utilities also dont have the knowledge on consumption and tampering info. Smart cards are of same size as a standard credit card. It is a microchip embedded in a plastic card to store information. Due to advancement in latest silicon technology, does not require use of batteries. The chip can be programmed to carry out specific functions.
Advantages & Applications of Smart Cards
- Ability to check forgery
Proposed use of prepayment system can track Smart card usage, it can Communication with utility system. It is a 3-tier implementation. Use supply management with added security
- Reducing reading expenses
- Bad debt collection
- A/c transfer expenses & credit debt expenses
- Greater awareness on consumers consumption habits
- Improved cash flow management
Large scale implementation
For large scale implementation user has a ID card. He gives money to ATM and gets the smart card credited. Customer terminal and service terminal manage electric supply and communication with service. Utility services update with the data and consumer behavior
Prepayment energy meter using smart card
The consumer inserts the pre-paid card in the energy meter. The value in the card is transferred to the meter and load is ON. The meter keeps track of the number of units consumed as per the slab rate and updates it to the controller via cosmo 2010. When the value in the card comes to electricity supply is cut off.
A better solution for utility management and beneficial to consumers, power reforms and market. A prototype for customer terminal is successfully constructed.