Energy suppliers are steadily increasing their second-generation (SMETS2) smart meter installations, requiring them to process much larger quantities of data. However, it has been questioned whether energy suppliers are fully leveraging the data that these smart meters provide – a difficult task due to the sheer amount of data produced.
There are hundreds of different types of smart meter alert which inform the energy supplier or network operator of a particular “event”. The alerts sent out by smart metering devices can range from the closing of a gas smart meter’s battery cover to power outages, so it’s clear that not every event holds the same level of importance, and that there is a lot of “noise” to sort through. “Alert storms” are also an industry-wide problem, with devices returning large volumes of spurious alerts to energy suppliers and network operators. These unexpectedly-high volumes of alerts may be placing strain on the receivers’ IT systems and drowning out genuine alerts that require immediate attention. These volumes may only further increase as more and more smart meters are installed.
Furthermore, depending on the type of alert and the device it originated from, an energy supplier may want to take several different follow-up actions: e.g. raise an incident, trigger root-cause analysis or notify the customer. It is important to have the correct follow-up action process in place, as this directly improves the customer experience and reduces the number of customer support queries the supplier receives.
My recent article on ‘Harnessing the power of smart meter data’ discusses exactly how smart meter data, including alerts, can be harnessed by energy suppliers to deliver business benefits, such as opening new engagement channels with customers and improving the customer experience. It also explains how data can be used by other organisations, such as research bodies and price-comparison websites, to help drive energy efficiency and deliver innovative products and services to consumers.
However, in order to effectively manage smart meter data and take advantage of the potential benefits it provides, energy suppliers require significant IT and business transformation. Fortunately, CGI are positioned to assist energy suppliers with our ER360 solutions, which help implement the core, compliant operating systems and emerging technology required to support customer experience transformation and set energy suppliers apart from the competition.
If you’d like to learn more about the value of smart meter data and how CGI enable energy suppliers to fully leverage its benefits, read my article ‘Harnessing the power of smart meter data’ here.