Early Justification of Smart Network Projects a Necessity

The aim of smart meter and network projects must be justified at the beginning of the project, not during rollout.
Published: Tue 18 Aug 2015

In this live studio interview at Asian Utility Week, Prasitchai Veerayuttwilai, Executive Director, EDMI (Asia, Africa, America) talks about the challenges surrounding smart meter deployments and how to overcome these.

Customer and utility staff buy-in

He points to customer, as well as utility staff engagement, as being critical to a successful deployment. He adds that it is important that the rollout plan is justified right from the beginning and that the benefits for both the customer and utility are understood by all roleplayers before the actual rollout.

For instance, smart technology can help utilities manage energy distribution better, thereby enabling them to deliver a better service to their customers. Smart meters will help improve energy efficiency levels which will lower utility bills and improve grid efficiency for the utility. Both the customer and the utility will be empowered by the smart meter and this needs to be explained at the beginning of the project.

Once customers and staff members are onboard with the rollout, benefits can be fully harnessed thereby justifying the cost of the technology and rollout process.

Quality crucial to long term success

While prices of smart technology are decreasing, the quality of smart technology plays a crucial role when it comes to long-term benefits and rollout success.

In closing, Mr Veerayuttwilai recommends that utilities ask themselves what projects would give them and their customers immediate benefit. “They need to look for the low hanging fruit first and foremost.”