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REC, JPDCL and J-PAL South Asia sign agreement for smart meters on improving consumer payments

Gurugram: REC Limited, a public infrastructure finance company under the Ministry of Power, Government of India and Jammu Power Distribution Corporation Limited (JPDCL), have partnered with the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) South Asia to test the impact of smart meters on improving consumer payments and electricity delivery in Jammu.

REC Limited, JPDCL and J-PAL South Asia will collaborate to leverage existing administrative data for exploring ways to reduce electricity theft and faulty billing. The insights gleaned from this analysis will inform the randomised evaluations led by professors’ who are a part of J-PAL’s global network to evaluate the impact of smart meters on improving billing accuracy and on other features such as remote disconnections, prepaid metering, and online billing.

People living in low-to-middle income countries often receive erratic power supply and suffer from electricity theft and non-payment. Smart meters, which measure electricity consumption in real time and feed the data into a central system, are considered to be a potential solution to alleviate these problems.

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This partnership builds on a data-sharing agreement signed between J-PAL South Asia and REC Limited in September 2021 to create an annual, data-based assessment of 79 public and private power distribution companies (DISCOMS) across the country for improving electricity access.

The agreement was signed by R K Gupta, Chief General Manager – REC Limited with Shiv Tayal (IAS), Managing Director – JPDCL and Shobhini Mukerji, Executive Director – J-PAL South Asia.

J-PAL South Asia will also conduct scoping studies to evaluate the effectiveness of innovative solutions targeted towards energy accounting and other reforms designed to improve power supply and reduce revenue losses.

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