A smart card operated prepaid energy meter uses embedded technology to dispatch electricity at the consumers end. It displays the consumption of electricity along with balance amount through a front end display fitted into the meter. It facilitate improved cash flow management in energy utilities and can reduces problem associated with billing for consumer particularly living in isolated rural area. This reduces deployment of extra man power for taking meter reading , payment collection and removes the entire infrastructure for electricity bill collection system. Thus the new metering technology save a substantial amount of money for the service provider which is added to the electricity bill apart from consumption. Once this additional amount is removed the consumers will be benefited and bill will be reduced to a great extent.

Technology Description:


The technology has been developed at Embedded system laboratory of Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute, a Durgapur based premier research institution under Council of Scientific and Industrial Research , New Delhi, India. A smart card operated prepaid energy meter uses embedded technology to dispatch energy to the consumers through activating the power line with the prepaid energy card. The card is available from the service provider which can be recharged against pre payment through a standalone refiller / charger. Every consumer can buy such card with an individual password (provided by the service provider) stored inside the card which is available at authorized card vending station / counter where the card is charged against payment from the consumers.

When the consumer insert a smart card into the meter ,then the meter will read the stored information and connect power line to the consumer for a duration up to zero balance. An audio visual alarm is activated when 25% balance is left for consumption. This helps the consumer for timely recharge the card for further use. The information stored in the card is deleted once power line is activated to avoid any reuse of the card through an inbuilt resident program. The smart card conforms ISO 7816 and offers an excellent advantages in terms of secrecy performances and strong anti interferences.

Benefit of the Technology:

The automatic power line connection and disconnection based on balance amount reduces wastage of energy and create energy awareness to the consumers. This leads to save huge energy when most of the consumers activate their power line through such prepaid card based load limiter. Thus the meter provides an ideal solution for optimal power management system in an electric net work.

The card selling , supervision and training to the consumer about new technology may lead to a good business model for employment of Indian rural population where technology awareness is poor. A battery powered card recharger may be fitted on a bicycle for card recharging / selling at the consumers door step which may be a more effective mode of business and technology promotion in remote areas. This may help to remove any unauthorized electricity connection violating the rule.


Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute
Durgapur-713209, India