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Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission Extends AMR Meter Installation Deadline Amid Slow Progress

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Representational image. Credit: Canva

In response to the delayed deployment of Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) meters in Karnataka, the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) has granted an extension of the mandatory installation deadline for eligible power entities. The KERC had previously ordered the compulsory installation of AMR meters by April 1, 2023, which was later postponed to August 1, 2023. However, the slow pace of installations prompted discoms to request a further extension.

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Expressing its concern over the sluggish implementation despite its earlier insistence on compliance, the KERC has now extended the deadline to September 30, 2023. The Commission emphasizes that Open Access (OA), High Tension (HT), and Extremely High Tension (EHT) power connections must have AMR meters installed.

In its latest order, the KERC has called for automated billing based on AMR data for connections already equipped with AMR-compatible meters. Manual intervention for data reading in such cases must cease without waiting for the extended deadline. The Commission has warned that non-compliance with the order could result in legal action under Section 142 of the Electricity Act, 2003.

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Previously, the KERC mandated the accounting and billing of power connections in the specified categories to be based on AMR data from April 1, 2023, with the possibility of legal action for defiance. However, the deadline was later deferred to August 1, 2023.

During a meeting with Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited (KPTCL), State Load Dispatch Center (SLDC), and Electricity Supply Companies (ESCOMs), the SLDC reported that out of 575 bulk meters, only 418 were integrated with AMR facilities, leaving 157 meters yet to be integrated. Similarly, of the 986 generators, only 167 had installed AMR meters. The ESCOMs have requested an additional two to three months for AMR meter installation.

With the extended deadline, the KERC seeks to expedite the installation process and ensure the seamless implementation of AMR meters for better power management and billing accuracy in the state.

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