Location has a critical role to play in your Smart Meter roll out. For example, you will want to prioritise areas which are most likely to result in a successful roll out, taking into account factors from property type and age to customer preferences and transport infrastructure. You’ll need to factor in where there are low income or vulnerable households and there will be a number of regulatory obligations that must be met. Once you have identified the priority areas you’ll need to route your engineers effectively to complete the work.
The common factor here is location, so a very effective way to visualise the data and generate analytics to provide the answers is with the help of a Geographic Information System (GIS) – that is, software which is optimised for dealing with location-centric challenges of this kind.
Many UK utility companies, including National Grid and Scottish Power are already using GIS to help turn data into strategic insight that drives optimised decision making. They use the Esri ArcGIS platform to deliver a geographic advantage for their business, using the platform to analyse business data, manage assets, update network information, integrate work orders, find customer information, and prepare reports.
Areas where we see potential for optimising the management of your smart metering roll out include:
- Identifying areas to prioritise for successful roll out – and then allocating jobs, taking account of factors including location, specialist skills and time to carry out the task.
- Reducing customer churn – an efficient roll out with clear communication to customers can develop and maintain your customer base.
- Increasing customer confidence and trust and therefore increasing uptake. In particular the new Esri Story Map capability can be used to explain your plans and the benefits to customers in a clear and engaging way.
- Managing costs – both internal and contractor costs.
- Reporting internally and externally on progress – and in particular allowing all internal and external stakeholders access to a common operating platform filtered for the particular information they need, on any device and wherever they are.
- Providing an easy to use dashboard for senior management.
- Defining and understanding relevant regional boundaries.
- Minimising the cost of the smart meter roll out – deployment optimisation.
- Managing inventory and tracking assets.
To find out more about how GIS can be used to optimise your smart meter roll out, visit www.esriuk.com/industries/energy-supply. In addition our whitepaper gives an in-depth exploration of the roll of GIS in creating and managing a smart grid.
If you are planning or in the process of a Smart Meter roll out, I would welcome the opportunity to talk to you about the challenges you are currently facing that are unique to your organisation - and how the ArcGIS Platform could be a key enabling technology.