Electricity Consumption Estimation Methods

Quite a few societies bill the residents for the grid electricity or DG Back-up electricity or both. They deploy electricity meters to get the meter readings and measure the monthly or bi-monthly consumption. Sometimes the meters go bad (the display goes bad, calibration goes bad or meter gets burnt etc.). This requires a process of consumption estimation.


Consumption estimation is not a simple process. Consumption of a house hold depends on various factors such as:

  • Time of the day, day of the week, week of the month, month of the year etc.

  • Weather or seasonal parameters

  • Consumption pattern of the house hold based on no of people, lifestyle etc.

  • Events such as holidays / family events

  • Children holiday schedule

  • Vacation /house lock situations

  • Any another out of ordinary situation


The accuracy of the estimation is inversely proposal for estimation duration. Thus, it is possibly to calculate a few days consumption more accurately then a month’s consumption. Let us look at the estimation methods for consumption estimation:

  1. Methods for few days consumption estimation

Consumption estimation of say 2-3 days or a week, should typically be estimated with an average daily consumption. Say a faulty meter was detected on 5th of a month and new meter was put on 6th of the month. We now have the consumption available for the new meter for 24 days (or 25 days depending on the month). This gives us an average daily consumption. This daily consumption can then be used to estimate the consumption for the 6 days and add it to the total consumption.

Other methods of consumption estimation even for a few days are considered in the next category.

  1. Methods for monthly consumption estimation


Quite a few times, it comes to be known at the end of the month only if the meter is not working and the consumption for the month needs to be estimated. The following methods could be used for such a scenario:

  1. Guidance value

  2. Last 3 months or 6 months average consumption

  3. Consumption in the same month last year

  4. Monthly moving average consumption

  5. Constant ratio consumption with a reference consumption (estimated consumption = actual consumption last month X (Reference consumption in current month / last month)

  6. Model based consumption ( a model can be created to capture the consumption considering weather parameters)


The scenario does get complex if the residents have moved in recently and the historical consumption is not true reflection of their consumption.

There could be other complexities in case of dual source meters where the one of the grid or DG register may be bad.

We believe that method (V) is the most reasonable method given the information available.

Our experience that the traditional excel based billing or other software do not cater to the complexity of this estimation. Meter Data Management solutions in the industry have robust methods for estimation. SmartCommunity.in is a similar platform which caters for complete functionality such as meter replacement process, consumption validation and consumption estimation process.

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