It’s December 2011, and my boss took me to lunch. During lunch he asked if I wanted to be the Head of Smart Grid, in one of those tones where you know it’s not a question. To give context, I knew the IT world pretty well, but I knew nothing about smart meters or demand response. Here I was, now reporting to the Chief Operating Officer of one of the largest and well-respected Utilities in Asia, and was expected to run a portfolio of over twenty smart grid programs. It would be an understatement to say I felt a little out of my depth.
I set about trying to find as much information as possible. It turned out I could find a ton of literature about the technologies, but none that spoke of real-world experiences and lessons learned. So I talked to as many people as I could who have ‘been there and done that.’ Over the course of the next few years, and with tremendous support from my employer, I met with hundreds of industry peers from around the world.
As our smart metering and demand response programs were being rolled out, we were learning more and more every day. We made plenty of mistakes along the way, but with strong support from the steering committee and a great team, we course corrected and carried on moving forward.
As we gained experience, we shared our lessons learned at conferences across the region and were fortunate enough to pick up a series of awards along the way.
In early 2016, I returned to Australia and decided to focus on helping other Utilities with their investments in smart metering and demand response technologies. However, I felt I had some unfinished business, an itch to scratch as it were. I wanted to share the lessons I had learned to as many people as possible. So I locked myself away, drank copious amounts of tea…I am English after all, and with a laptop in hand, spent the last six months writing utilidocs™.
utilidocs™ is a book for Utility professionals interested in understanding what is possible with smart metering and demand response. It explores how to get the most from consumer adoption of behind the meter technologies. It talks about the human aspects and how getting support from the right people, internally and externally is by far the greatest determinant of success. It describes, step by step, how to go about building your strategic roadmap. It provides insights into the costs and benefits you should consider and highlights what you need to be talking to your vendors about to make sure you select the right partner. For those implementing these technologies, it gives insights into risks and issues you will need to manage.
My goal was simple. I wanted to write a book for the 2011 version of me that, had it been available, would have saved my organization an enormous amount of time and money.
‘utilidocs™, building blocks to a digital utility’ will be available in the coming weeks.