As a Utility, when your digital journey begins there is often a temptation to start by introducing new digital experiences for the customer. The reality is, the vast majority of people want the basics of safe and reliable power, from a sustainable source, at a reasonable price before they will see value in many of the additional new experiences you are keen to offer.

Before looking to introduce a range of new products and services I would strongly recommend you focus on becoming world-class in these five areas to maximise your customer profitability:

  1. Automated Meter Reading. The act of remotely reading a meter is the same regardless of the customer type. Therefore all your meters, commercial, industrial, small to medium business, and residential should be read using the one platform. With everything in one place, you can strive to eliminate manual intervention in the meter reading process.
  2. Eliminate non-technical loss. Whether through energy theft or consumption of electricity on non-active accounts, lost revenue means higher rates to everyone.
  3. Increase adoption of automated payments and e-billing. There are services a Utility can introduce, leveraging smart meters, which can help drive up the adoption of both automated payments and e-billing. Success in this area drives down the cost of managing late payers, as well as the costs associated with physically printing and posting a bill.
  4. Minimise value-add engagements. When a customer calls you to resolve an issue, don’t think of it as an opportunity to sell something. The customer wants their issue resolved and get off the phone as quickly as possible. Identify why customers are calling you and use smart meter data to satisfy the customers need and prevent the call in the first place. Fewer enquiries and complaints equal less operational costs.
  5. Create a zero touch moving house experience. With smart meters, you can eliminate the human costs associated with people moving home. There are always concerns raised about the practicality of doing this. With careful process design, it is possible.

Before you go chasing new revenue opportunities that have an uncertain payback, maximise your customer profitability by using smart meters to become world class in these five areas.

In your opinion, what services would make up your top five?

Contact me to find out how I can help you develop an effective smart metering or automated demand response business case.

Follow me at www.chapel-group.com, or Twitter at @Wayne_TCG

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