Customer engagement is high on the list of priorities for utilities across the globe. It is interesting therefore to see that, in the US, utilities that offer online or mobile services have increased from 75% in 2014, to 92% in 2016.
The challenge is that there is still a disconnect between what the utility provides and what customers actually seem to want, with customer satisfaction rising by only .8% to 81.8%. Between 12% and 16% of customers said that either the information they required was not available or was not accessible.
Human dynamics are playing more of a role in the way utilities interact with their clients. I have been privileged to be asked to chair the sessions on Digital Customer Innovation at the upcoming SAP conference for utilities in the Hague and look forward to being able to share some of the insights from this event with our readers over the course of the next few months. If you are attending the event, please be sure to come and say hello.
As our readers may be aware, we have started off the new year with some very exciting developments here at Metering & Smart Energy International. After much internal lobbying, we have joined forces with opinion and analysis community, Engerati, to be able to offer even greater coverage of the global smart energy sector to our readers.
These changes bring together two very strong media offerings in order to form the biggest and strongest media group within the smart energy sector. We are now able to offer our readers so much more in terms of content, and will offer advertisers access to the biggest global audience within the utilities and smart energy business.
In addition to this significant opportunity, we at Metering & Smart Energy International are particularly proud to be celebrating our 20th birthday this year and we plan on taking you on a trip down memory lane throughout the course of the year as we look through our archives and highlight some of the topics that were of importance at that time. All of the articles highlighted on page 14 are available for download via our digital magazine.
More from Metering & Smart Energy International
US gas, water and electric utility KUB announced its plans to kickstart an Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) programme in July this year. According to KUB, its US$54m project will aim replacement of some 400,000 traditional gas, water and electric meters with smart meters by 2020. The development will help the utility to optimise its revenue collection through improved networks management achieved via implementation of energy and water efficiency programmes.
Global energy technology company Itron announced its single phase Linky smart meter received G3-PLC certification. In a press statement, the technology company said the G3-PLC certification verifies the performance and conformance of its Linky smart meters to the G3- PLC protocol. The G3-PLC Alliance awarded testing of Itron’s smart meters to French company Laboratoire des Applications Numériques (LAN).
Global telecoms solutions provider ZTE this week launched three models of LoRa-based smart electric meters for residential consumers. In a press statement, the solutions provider announced the release of its new single-phase smart meter, single-phase prepaid smart meter, and three-phase smart meter. China's largest-listed telecommunications equipment company claims its products are compliant with smart meter reading systems’ requirements for long distance transmission of small data supporting the LoRacommunication technology.
Global smart energy networks solutions provider Silver Spring Networks this week announced it will provide US utility Con Edison with an AMI communications system. The news comes after the utility’s plans to implement an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) programme received New York State Public Service Commission’s (NYPSC) approval. Under the AMI project set to kickstart in early 2017 through to 2021, the investor owned utility will deploy smart electric and gas meters as well as Silver Spring’s IPv6 platform to allow its three million consumers in New York and Wetchester County implement sustainable use of energy.
In 2014, the percentage of large US utilities offering their customers a mobile channel was 72%, which has risen to 92% in 2016. However, utilities’ websites design and functionality challenges as well as the customer’s inability to find content on the websites is still restricting full realisation of the technology’s benefits. This is according to a survey '2016 Utility Website Evaluation Study (UWES)' released last week by global marketing information provider J.D. Power and Associates.