Single Source Metering vs Dual Source Metering

The societies and apartment complexes which are responsible for supplying the power to the residents can bill the residents either on single source meter or dual source meter. These societies bill the resident for both grid power as well as back-up/Diesel Generated power. The societies can always put separate meter for DG supply and separate meter for grid supply or bill using one meter only or can also use a dual source metering technology. The dual source metering technology has meters which have two registers – one for Grid and the other for DG; it receives an external single for switching the registers.


So the question is whether the society should use dual source meters? What are the advantages and disadvantages of dual source metering?

Dual Source metering is a very interesting concept. But it has pros and cons. The pros of dual metering are as follows:

  1. It seems a just method of billing for Grid and DG power. DG power could be as expensive as 2 to 2.5 times of grid power.

  2. It allows a possibility to different load limits for Grid and DG power.

  3. Theoretically, it creates a disincentive for the people to consume DG power

  4. If a society has constraint in DG power availability, different DG power metering and pricing can act as demand management tool


The cons of dual metering are as follows:

  1. A resident should have visibility of when he DG is running and should have mechanism to reduce demand. The reality is that a lot of resident do not have the visibility of when a DG power is being supplied.

  2. The Dual source meters could be of lower quality than single source meter both from reliability as well as accuracy perspective. There is also a dual source signal infrastructure which poses reliability issues.

  3. A resident cannot plan for the lower consumption of DG power as the loss of grid power is unpredictable.

  4. A resident can always say why he/she is penalized with high cost of DG power if he/she happens to consumer higher DG power at certain time slot.

  5. Many of the societies have a third source of power - solar power. The question is whether the solar power needs to charged difference as well. Should there be a third register and separate pricing for solar power?

  6. Our practical experience is that the residents do not typically back down their demand when the DG power is running even if they are aware of the same


We work with both types of societies one which is using single source meters for billing for DG as well and the other which uses dual source meters and bills Grid and DG power separately (and of course, there are a few societies which use two separate meters for Grid and DG power). Both the systems work. We have observed that some of the societies who have dual source meters have higher electricity losses (essentially losses arising out of meter calibrations).

A society need not change the system in general. We now rarely suggest a society to move to dual source from single source but sometimes we do recommend societies to move to single source meter from dual source meter as single source metering system are easier to maintain.

Please do let us know your experiences. Do let us know your thoughts on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


0 #2 smartcom 2015-03-02 18:20
This scheme can be worked with a special arrangement. We can do with a dual source meter with load control relay.
0 #1 Devesya Swroop Sharm 2015-02-27 12:17
Dear All,

Let me know one thing. Can we disconnect the DG power supply in case of Dual Display meters and use our own inverter.


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