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How Jaipur-based Gram Power is using smart grid technology

Energy loss is a significant concern for the convenience sector in India. Transmission and distribution (T&D) losses within the Indian energy sector are higher than other countries, according to the 2020-21 Financial Survey, which suggests that electrical energy is generated but will not reach customers.

Jaipur-based Gram Energy is trying to address this problem by digitizing the facility distribution infrastructure in India. In 2012, Yash Raj Khaitan along with his then College of California batchmate Jacob Dickinson is building a sensible electrical energy metering system to handle power consumption and avoid energy losses. However, Jacob exited the company in 2016 and is now working at SpaceX.

Yash Raj told YourStory that the company initially began ensuring electric power by using its smart photovoltaic microgrid for areas that were not connected to the national energy grid. In 2016, Village Energy moved its enterprise to focus solely on managing energy distribution.

“Our first product was the sensible photo voltaic microgrid. These are self-contained power plants that provide vitality to communities that are not connected to the nationwide grid. Our main innovation in that system was managing the distribution of the facility. We Developed a complete energy distribution administration platform that basically included sensible pay as you meter and the expertise to handle this grid remotely,” he says.

Still, he says he realized the challenges in scaling up the enterprise because India lacked clear insurance policies on how a micro grid resolution could coexist with a nationwide grid.

“We were approached by one of the many private utilities within the country after our work on the micro-grid. He told us that if we cut down all facility periods and deliver within reasonable pay as you go power management systems to the national grid and check if they can help utility companies save on power losses, They say.

Put it, the startup pivoted in 2016 to focus on energy distribution governance and infrastructure digitization.

“We have developed a built-in platform for intelligent metering – from the communication expertise from the metering {hardware} to your entire software program platform to handle and function these meters at scale. We bring all these companies under one roof. Provide electricity to distribution corporations,” provides Yashraj.

Good Electrical Energy Metering System

Yash Raj explains that the smart meter is a standard meter which also includes the ability to remotely activate and turn off the feature and to take readings mechanically.

According to him, the main target of the startup is the State Electricity Boards which are incurring huge losses. He points out that while India has a good facility era and transmission infrastructure, the main problem is in energy distribution, which is the last mile infrastructure.

He points out that utilities are majorly releasing energy within the distribution segment through multiple channels. “For example, challan reading is done manually right now and there could actually be someone who visits home and office items and takes the study. If the study is wrong, the utility suffers as wrong invoice is generated. This is one of the main areas of damage,” he offers.

Enterprise and Extra

The co-founder revealed that Village Energy is operating in 25 cities across the country. It also manages energy distribution for several startups like OYO Life and Stanza Dwelling.

Talking about the business model, Yash Raj says that the startup works on the metering-as-a-service model. “Utility corporations do not CAPEX investments within the meter, but pay us a per-meter-per-month subscription fee for a contract period of between 7.5 and 10 years, during which we will deploy these metering technologies to state electric energy. Provide, act and handle the board,” he offers.

The Sequence A Stage firm has raised $2.6 million from Blum Capital and Vestergaard. It is now preparing to close its Sequence B funding round. Other well-known players including Techno Meters, HPL India, Itron India Pvt Ltd are also working in the energy meter section.

According to the India Energy Outlook 2021 report, India is the third largest energy consuming country in the world due to rising income and rising living needs.

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