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Instal smart meter, plan electricity use to reduce bill

September 9, 2015, Bengaluru, DHNS 0:56 IST
Running your electrical appliances on planned schedules can greatly reduce your electricity bills, finds a study by scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).

But that is possible only when homes are fitted with smart meters that can monitor the power consumption pattern.

In a smart grid system, the electricity distribution company publishes fares a day before. The day is divided into time slots and there are different fares for different slots.
The fares per unit may be lower in early morning hours and higher during peak evening hours.

Running appliances in time slots with lowest cost would reduce bills, but it may not be always convenient to do so. For example, it is not convenient to have a dishwasher running during lunchtime.

Earlier, automatic schedule schemes optimised cost but convenience was not taken into account. Recent work by Mannam Rama Rao, a research scholar at the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering, IISc, is the first one to also consider user convenience. The study was led by Profs Joy Kuri and Dr T V Prabhakar at the Department of Electronic Systems Engineering.

The user can specify the time slots that are convenient for different appliances. The best schedule is calculated, taking into account the cost and user preferences.

A smart grid system with pricing information shared in advance has many advantages. It helps the electricity company balance the demand and supply, helps consumers reduce their power bills and increases the general efficiency, stability and reliability of the system.

“Awareness programmes are essential to attract energy consumers towards these new schemes. If everything goes smoothly, the profits can be shared by all players of the grid,” Rao explained.

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