Commercial losses in electrical systems, Electrical Engineering

Commercial Losses in Electrical Systems

Commercial losses are caused by pilferage, theft, defective meters, and errors in meter reading and in estimating un-metered supply of energy.

                                  Box: Reasons for commercial losses

  1. Non-performing and under-performing meters.
  2. Wrong application of multiplying factors.
  3. Defects in CT and PT circuitry.
  4. Non-reading of meters.
  5. Pilferage by manipulating or bypassing of meters.
  6. Theft by direct tapping, etc.

All these losses are because of non-metering or under-metering of actual consumption. Non-technical losses occur at several places in a distribution system.

                                                    Table: Losses Due to Non-technical Reasons

•  Loss at consumer end



•  Poor accuracy of meters,

•  Large errors in CTs/PTs,

•  Voltage drop in PT cables,

•  Loose connections in PT wire terminations,

•  Overburdened CT.

•  Tampering/bypass of


•  Where meters without tamper-proof/tamper-deterrent/tamper-evident meters are used,

•  Poor quality sealing of meters,

•  Lack of seal issue, seal monitoring and management system,

•  Shabby installation of meters and metering systems,

•  Exposed CTs/PTs where such devices are not properly securitised.

•  Pilferage of energy

•  From overhead "bare" conductors.

•  From open junction boxes (in cabled systems),

•  Exposed connections/joints in service cables,

•  Bypassing the neutral wires in meters.

•  Energy accounting


•  Lack of proper instrumentation (metering) in feeders and DTs for carrying out energy audits,

•  Not using meters with appropriate data logging features in feeder and DT meters, 

•  Lack of a system for carrying out regular (monthly) energy accounting to monitor losses,

•  Errors in sending end meters, CTs and PTs,

•  Loose connections in PT wires (which results in low voltage at feeder meter terminals),

•  Energy accounting errors (by not following a scientific method for energy audits).

•  Errors in meter reading

•  Avoiding meter reading due to several causes like house locked, meter not traceable, etc. 

•  Manual (unintentional errors) in meter reading,

•  Intentional errors in meter reading (collusion by meter readers),

•  Coffee shop reading,

•  Data punching errors (at MRI end by meter readers),

•  Data punching errors by data entry operators,

•  Lack of validation checks,

•  Lack of management summaries and exception reports on meter reading.

•  Errors in bills

•  Errors in raising the correct bill,

•  Manipulation/changes made in meter reading at billing centres - lack of a system to assure integrity in data,

•  Lack of system to ensure bills are delivered.

•  Receipt of payment

•  Lack of system to trace defaulters including regular defaulters,

•  Lack of system for timely disconnection,

•  Care to be taken for reliable disconnection of supply (where to disconnect).


Posted Date: 2/6/2013 4:29:16 AM | Location : United States

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