Nepal Electricity Authority ask govt for free frequencies

Kathmandu: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has demanded free frequency from the government for the use of smart meters.

NEA has demanded a frequency of 395 to 400 MHz band to bring the data of the customer’s connected smart meter to the data center of the authority. NEA needs radio frequency to bring the data of the meter to the data center of NEA through the electronic chips placed in the smart meter.

NEA has informed that discussions have been initiated with the Ministry of Communications regarding the frequency. According to NEA, there is no option to get free frequency as the government has to increase the electricity tariff for the customers when they take the frequency by paying the fee at the rate fixed by the government.

Earlier, when the directorate asked the Nepal Telecommunication Authority for information about the fee, it was informed that using the frequency in 98,000 smart meters would cost around Rs 1.97 billion annually. According to the number of devices, frequency charges have been levied and the number of meters has been increasing.

NEA had started installing smart meters in the border areas of Kathmandu by removing the old meters. In the first phase, about 98,000 old meters are being replaced with smart meters by single phase and three phase of customers under Ratna Park and Maharajgunj Distribution Center in Kathmandu. So far, about 28,000 meters have been replaced.

Another tender is being held to connect 3.5 million smart meters in Kathmandu for the implementation of ‘Digital NEA’ put forward by former NEA executive director, Kulman Ghising.

After connecting the smart meter, the data of electricity consumption can be transmitted to both the sides, so not only meter reading from NEA, but also the line of the customer who does not pay the bill on time can be cut online from the center.

NEA expects to control the leakage of electricity due to meter reading. If someone tries to steal electricity by bypassing the meter, the information will be available online, so it will be effective in controlling the theft.