Wednesday, 27 November 2013
A Smart Prepaid Energy Metering System to Control Electricity Theft
Electricity theft has emerged as a serious problem in power sectors especially in the developing countries. Power utilities in different countries especially in the developing ones are incurring huge losses due to electricity theft. This paper proposes a prepaid energy metering system to control electricity theft. In this system a smart energy meter is installed in every consumer unit and a server is maintained at the service provider side. Both the meter and the server are equipped with GSM module which facilitates bidirectional communication between the two ends using the existing GSM infrastructure. Consumers can easily recharge their energy meter by sending a PIN number hidden in a scratch card to the server using SMS. This paper presents some measures to control meter bypassing and tampering. The bidirectional GSM communication using SMS ensures the effectiveness of these measures. Pilferage of electricity can be substantially reduced by incorporating the proposed measures along with the prepaid metering scheme. Legal actions against dishonest consumers can also be taken in this system.