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In the Great Energy Crunch of 2022,
create a win-win for your customers and you

Bragadesh Damodaran
14 Jun 2022

ANY METER, ANY PROVIDER – THE SAME RELIABLE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Smart metering operations gives you and your customers access to a wealth of data. And it’s changing the energy industry forever.

The energy and utilities sector is witnessing unprecedented transformation. With constant growth and expansion in infrastructure, it is imperative that metering operations scales smoothly and runs seamlessly, and that end consumers do not face issues in the supply or in the monitoring of their energy usage. Utilities also need a way to reduce operational costs while simultaneously improving customer experience (CX), which today is one of the deciding factors for business success.

The supplier-centric model of the past few decades is rapidly giving way to a new consumer-centric model, and now with energy prices soaring, it is becoming increasingly challenging for energy providers to show more benefits to the customers for the costs they incur. Fortunately, technological advances in the metering ecosystem are putting more tools in customers’ hands, simplifying the process for providers, and laying the groundwork for future innovation. All these tools are critical components of the smart metering operations.

What does smart metering operations entail?

While more and more utilities (power, gas & water) are increasing the count of smart meters, the roadmap to conversion from static to smart meters is slow and costly. Fortunately, smart meters are not actually the most critical piece of the puzzle – it’s rather the infrastructure that needs to transform. A smart infrastructure connecting customers and providers enables smart metering operations, and that’s where the value lies.

Digital operations enable energy providers to monitor and manage the entire utility metering system. This opens the door to analytics, automation, and simplified services, not only improving response time but also reducing errors caused by human interventions. Costs are optimized, and the efficiency of metering operations and related services are improved – and they keep improving over time. The opportunities are compounded when your smart metering operations is integrated with key industry solutions like load management, outage management, demand side management (DSM), and customer relationship management (CRM). Let’s look now at the benefits to customers and energy providers in more detail.

Smart metering operations empowers the customer

The benefits of a smart metering solution to customers are hard to overstate. Consumers gain access to their real-time data, enabling them to understand and optimize their energy use. Customer-facing apps can provide energy consumers with a range of services, such as:

  • Monitoring load and energy usage patterns
  • Self-Meter Reading (SMR) using Optical Character Reading (OCR) technology enables the consumer to share their meter readings with the utility companies with just a single click
  • Self-Fault Finder (SFF) using computer vision, helps diagnose earth leakage and electrical safety issues
  • Two-way communication with their utilities company through a simple, intuitive interface that also provides hyper-personalized messages to the consumers while allowing them to share their inputs / feedbacks

Consumers are provided with hyper-personalized messages on their billing cycle, payment notifications, meter reading reminders, rate of energy consumption, and proactive alerts. A customer app can likewise reveal anomalies like abnormally high energy usage, high bill notifications, and provides relative energy consumption compared with similar homes in the neighborhood. Most importantly, smart metering operations enables customers to receive personalized tips on how to save, based on their individual consumption patterns. All of these put the ability to save on energy in customers’ hands.

A wide range of benefits to utilities companies

Apart from the wide-ranging benefits to customers, smart metering operations provides numerous opportunities to energy providers, including:

  1. Improved operational efficiency and productivity by automating high-volume and repetitive tasks
  2. Increased savings on Field Services with reduced field visits due to remote troubleshooting and self-meter reading (SMR) functionality   
  3. Maximizing asset value through automated monitoring and tracking of status of warranties and firmware upgrades of meters
  4. Increasing visibility of issues and tracking real-time status of service requests raised by the consumer, using best practices for issue identification and speedy resolution
  5. Energy data insights and advanced analytics to enable load forecasting, network planning, reliability assessment, demand management and Non-Technical Loss reduction
  6. Promoting energy efficiency and sustainability through demand response program by sending hyper-personalized alerts to customers on optimizing energy usage
  7. Equipping utilities with a communication layer to be used as a foundation for Smart Grid at scale
  8. Enhanced customer experience by ensuring meter read completion, on-time read validation, reducing instances of estimated or erroneous meter reads, and increasing customer engagement

What lies ahead?

In an unpredictable market, digital operations win every time. They’re more flexible. More scalable. And they provide the convenience that customers increasingly look for. Capgemini has been working for years at the intersection of E&U and digital transformation. Interested in learning more? Contact us and witness the capabilities this solution brings to your table and how easily it can be implemented in your business.

Bragadesh Damodaran
Senior Director, Utilities
India Industry Platform

Romila Bhagat
Smart Metering SME,
Utilities India Industry Platform