Electric Billing Losses in a Society

The societies which are bulk electricity buyers are often concerned with the high amount of electricity losses in internal electricity distribution. Of course, quite a few societies do not even measure the losses. The societies which measure these losses do find the losses to be on higher side. Let us look at the type of losses and the implications of the same.


The energy balance for a society can typically be written as follows:

Total Energy Procured = Total Billed Energy + Total Common Areas Energy + Energy Losses

More often than not, the ‘Total Energy Procured’ and ‘Total Billed Energy’ data is available.

Many societies though do not measure common area charges. Thus, they subsume energy losses as part of common area charges.

It is important to understand the energy losses. The energy losses are as follows:

Energy Losses = Technical Losses + Accounting Losses

The technical losses are the losses where the electricity energy gets converted into non-electrical energy (such as heat). The technical losses consist of transformer losses and line losses. The technical losses depend on the following factors:

  1. Quality of the Infrastructure

  2. Quality of power (harmonics, fluctuations, disruptions etc.)

  3. Load

  4. Current Imbalance

  5. Power Factor

The accounting losses are essentially measurement losses and estimation losses. These losses depend on the following:

  1. Quality and accuracy of the meters

  2. Quality of Power

  3. Estimation in case of meter failures

  4. Different accounting periods

Of course, a very significant contributor to the losses is the different accounting periods. In case of manual data collection, the meter data collection for different meters is at different time stamps. Sometimes, there could be difference of days.

How does a society reduce the losses? We believe that a society needs to first bring the predictability and measurement accuracy of the losses. Only then the losses can be reduced. To bring the predictability, a society needs a robust digital platform, automatic meter reading and expertise to monitor the system. For actual loss reduction, quality of meters and power quality plays a significant role.

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