Meeting the challenges of Smart Grid charging and billing

Innovation Observatory

By Danny Dicks
November 2010

(Below is the introduction to the executive summary of this analyst report from Innovation Observatory. LogNet Systems and our MaxBill solution are feature prominently in this analyst report. To download this analyst report, please click here.)

Smart grids will bring fundamental changes to the electricity sector, not just in infrastructure but also in business models and in customers’ experience. Utilities need to rethink how they do business, how their service portfolios should evolve, and what tools they require to manage a successful next-generation business.

The shift to smart grids will drive investment in a new generation of customer information system (CIS), to support the new pricing models and services that smart meters enable. A good number of the systems requirements are clear – the need to handle an exponential increase in meter data volumes, dynamic pricing and microgeneration tariffs – but others are as yet uncertain or even unthought-of. Sufficient flexibility to handle unknown future needs will be vital.

While handling smart metering data poses systems challenges for utilities, it also provides a golden opportunity for them to improve their customer service. In the legacy world of energy provision, utilities’ interaction with customer was very limited, usually restricted to the monthly bill or to a notification from a customer of an outage. Knowledge of a customer’s energy usage behaviour was normally restricted to high level information, such as how many kWh are consumed and how usage varies according to the time of year…

To download this analyst report, please click here.