Opportunities for Utilities Through Smart Technologies

Utilities should get involved in the smart home market to maintain and develop their customer communications.
Published: Thu 04 Jun 2015

In a live studio interview at African Utility Week, Harold Hayes, Chief Technical Officer, Landis&Gyr, describes the benefits of the new G3 Power Line Communication (PLC) smart meter, a prepayment meter with all the smart meter functionalities.

Enabling the future smart home

He explains that the technology provides the ability to host robust and high-performing energy management solutions that are cost and resource effective – and which contribute to enabling the smart grid and the smart home of the future. PLC has been chosen over radio since bricks may hamper communications with radio technology. The technology will be up for production in July this year and it will be going straight to market without pilots.

Utilities, book your space

Hayes says that utilities need to get involved in the smart home space before someone else does. He adds that utilities need to keep communication channels open with their customers as they create their smart homes. “They (utilities) need to ensure that no-one else is communicating with these devices in that space. Utilities must ensure that meters are future proof to secure their communications with customers.”

Ivan Barron, CTO, EDMI, who also spoke in the studio, touches on the smart meters’ potential and explains how New Zealanders are beginning to expect more from their smart meter system. He adds, “Customers are wanting additional services added to their meter solutions. Australia for instance is finding new ways of selling electricity by recognising the power of choice. The consumer gets to choose what kind of meter they want.” While there has to be a basic level of functionality , there are avenues beyond that for utilities and retailers to upsell additional functionalities that will help the customer manage their energy use better.”