Smart meters can plug gaps in power billing, payment. But that solves only a part of discoms’ worry.
round 17% of the electricity in the country is not billed for. With smart meters, discoms can track power consumption in real time, generate bills, and enforce timely payment. But the real problem behind their sagging finances lies in unpaid bills by state-government departments, stretched working-capital cycles, inadequate tariff hikes, and power theft.