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The top 25 areas to explore when selecting your long term smart metering partner – part I

I have great memories of working with my team back in 2012 when we released our first smart metering tender.  We were a new team and did not know a great deal about smart metering.  We put out a request for proposal (RFP) that we felt delivered the right balance of technical questions and business outcomes.  Since then I have been involved in several smart metering tenders as well as having reviewed many more from around the world. Continue reading “The top 25 areas to explore when selecting your long term smart metering partner – part I”

Is your smart meter actually smart?

I have lost count of the number of debates I have had around what makes a meter smart.  Sure, a meter that can remotely capture consumption data at short intervals, can be remotely read, can be told to connect and disconnect, and can receive instructions to upgrade is definitely smarter than earlier generations of meters. But do these qualities make them smart? Continue reading “Is your smart meter actually smart?”

Will embedded networks pose a risk to regulated utilities?

Embedded networks pose a growing revenue risk to regulated utilities around the world, especially utilities that operate in densely populated areas with an increasing proportion of apartment buildings. Australia’s Energy Market Operator defines embedded networks as “private electricity networks which serve multiple premises and are located within, and connected to, a distribution or transmission system through a parent connection point.” Think of apartment blocks, shopping centres, retirement villages, etc. Continue reading “Will embedded networks pose a risk to regulated utilities?”

Using smart meters to help you move house.

In our book, utilidocs®: building blocks to a digital utility, we provide insight into every stage of the smart metering and demand response journey. In the coming weeks, I will share some of the services detailed in our book that become possible as a result of smart metering and demand response technologies. This week we look at how to leverage smart metering technology to help customers move house. Continue reading “Using smart meters to help you move house.”

utilidocs: subscription-based demand response

In our book, utilidocs®: building blocks to a digital utility, we provide insight into every stage of the smart metering and demand response journey. In this post, I wanted to share one of more than 100 services, detailed in the book, that become possible as a result of smart metering and demand response technologies. Continue reading “utilidocs: subscription-based demand response”

Customers want value, not compliance.

For most of my career, I have found myself in roles where I face the challenge of achieving value over mere compliance. When I worked in architecture, I tried to introduce practical steps to reduce enterprise debt as opposed to following a strict framework that saw lots of form filling without adding much value. In Cyber Security I founds ways to leverage technology to help people be more productive in a secure way, instead of just focusing on satisfying auditors (which often results in a very expensive exercise in making an organization no more secure). Continue reading “Customers want value, not compliance.”

Be authentic – design from the outside in

Three weeks ago I was running a course on innovation at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok. While planning my lecture on ‘designing from the outside in,’ I received a message from LinkedIn. The timing could not have been better for my subject matter. The message was so far away from being authentic – a perfect example of designing from the inside out and one I went on to use that day in my lecture. Designing from the inside out is where an organization creates or changes a product or service to reduce costs or increase revenue, but tries to persuade customers they did it for their benefit.

I am a professional subscriber to LinkedIn, and only because I get much value from the advanced search function. Having LinkedIn tell me they are about to take this feature away because it is not heavily used, is not authentic. LinkedIn still provides this functionality, but only if you move to a more expensive product. LinkedIn has designed this service from the inside out; their focus is on increasing revenue and not increasing customer satisfaction.

I see this approach a lot with Utilities. For example, Utilities will often try to sell the value of autopay to their customers. Saying it makes customers lives easier. While autopay may deliver this benefit, the reality is Utilities are doing this to reduce costs of chasing late payers. Customers would have far greater respect for the Utility if the message were authentic. Just say: “If you move to autopay you help us reduce our costs, so you will enjoy a discount.”

When designing products and services, design from the outside in and focus on what the customer wants, and not on what you want from them. Be authentic with your customers, it is the best way to attract and retain them.

Are you being authentic and designing from the outside in?

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Buy our book utilidocs™. building blocks to a digital utility from Amazon, now. All profits go to end energy poverty.

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#connectedera #digitalutility #smartmeters #demandresponse #opendata

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Contact me to find out how we can help you get the most from smart metering, demand response, and behind-the-meter technologies.

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Sign-up at www.chapel-group.com so you do not miss our future blog posts

Smart Metering Maturity V – Automation

In this, the fifth and final stage of my smart metering maturity series, we look at automation – from the perspective of the utility using automation to help the customer achieve the lowest possible bill with no change to their lifestyle. They essentially ‘set and forget’.

Let’s imagine a time, not too many years away, where a large portion of customers have rooftop solar, storage, electric vehicles and a range of smart devices all controlled by a home hub. I see a time when this applies to both houses and apartments.

With the data being generated from smart meters, and with the ability to remotely control all these behind the meter technologies with your Demand Response system, you can explore the holy grail of customer product offerings – the lowest possible electricity bill to match their lifestyle.

In this month’s Metering & Smart Energy International magazine I have written an article called “A Utilities Secret Weapon In The Battle For The Connected Home.” In this article, I explain the opportunity automation introduces in much greater detail and explains how to combine dynamic pricing with the ability to remotely control consumer demand and generation to optimize the customer’s energy bill.

Combine automation with dynamic pricing to optimize a customer’s energy bill is a great opportunity for Utilities, but they are on borrowed time. As outsiders begin to understand more about third party access to customer meter data, suddenly anyone will be able to offer this service and Utilities will be left wanting.

This is all very exciting. But it not only requires a customer to invest in these behind-the-meter technologies, it requires a Utility to first master the basics of smart metering, automated demand response, dynamic rate design, and advanced analytics. A journey that takes most Utilities a decade or more. How mature is your Utility’s smart metering capability?

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Buy our book utilidocs™. building blocks to a digital utility from Amazon, now. All profits go to end energy poverty.

.

#connectedera #digitalutility #smartmeters #demandresponse #opendata

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Contact me to find out how we can help you get the most from smart metering, demand response, and behind-the-meter technologies.

.

Sign-up at www.chapel-group.com so you don’t miss our future blog posts

Smart Metering Maturity IV – Leveraging Behind-The-Meter technologies

As we move into the fourth stage of smart metering maturity, we look at how we can use the data from smart meters to deliver products that help customers with their investments in behind-the-meter technologies. In return, you will retain the customer and increase profitability.

Utilities are often mistaken in thinking that behind-the-meter technologies are separate from their core business and from smart metering. Often a Utility will set up stand-alone business units to focus on these emerging technologies and don’t reflect on how to leverage the data from smart meters to come up with innovative pricing products to help with their objectives.

What if you created new pricing products that made behind-the-meter technologies attractive to your customers? Could you generate new revenue streams by creating partnerships with the resellers of these technologies?

What if you created new pricing products that took advantage of these technologies, reducing the bill of a high-value customer? Maybe they would be less likely to leave you for a competitor?

How about bundling pricing products and discounts for behind-the-meter technologies to customers who don’t pay on time? Maybe offer them these packages if they agree to sign up to ebill and electronic payment. Could the savings from chasing late payers outweigh the costs of these bundled offers?

Rather than seeing behind-the-meter technologies separate from your traditional business model, see them for what they are – a new world of opportunities to retain customers and improve the profitability of your core business.

Could you be using smart meter data to play a meaningful role in your customer’s adoption of behind-the-meter technologies?

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Buy our book utilidocs™. building blocks to a digital utility from Amazon, now. All profits go to end energy poverty.

.

#connectedera #digitalutility #smartmeters #demandresponse #opendata

.

Contact me to find out how we can help you get the most from smart metering, demand response, and behind-the-meter technologies.

.

Sign-up at www.chapel-group.com so you don’t miss our future blog posts

 

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