Electric Ireland adopts AI to maximise smart meter data

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UK utility Electric Ireland has partnered with smart grid solutions firm Bidgely to optimise the use of its smart meter data for improved grid management and customer services.

The two companies have introduced an artificial intelligence-based customer engagement solution delivered via email and a web portal.

Electric Ireland will be installing some 3,4 million smart meters for its customers over the next three years.

Consumer energy usage data acquired from the smart meters will be used to provide customers with appliance-level consumption insights.

These insights will be used to personalise services offered to customers.

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Personalisation will enable the utility to educate customers on their individual usage, recommend the best price plans for each consumer as well as help them to reduce their carbon footprints.

Susan Whyte, smart meter programme manager at Electric Ireland, said: “Smart meters introduce new opportunities for Electric Ireland to create more customer value through personalised and engaging insights that reveal the details about how customers are using energy.

Abhay Gupta, CEO of Bidgely, adds: “We applaud Electric Ireland for being a first-mover in AI-powered data analytics; an initiative that brings greater value to energy consumers and serves as a strong competitive advantage in a region that vies for customer loyalty and satisfaction.”

Smart meters are expected to play a key role in helping the utility to achieve its digital transformation and energy transition goals, which are aimed at improving customer services, maximize revenue collection and meet decarbonisation goals.

Smart meter tariffs

In early February, Electric Ireland launched four new customer-focused electricity price plans for customers with smart meters. The plans are based on a Time of Use design to enable consumers to shift heavy energy use from peak periods when energy use is high to off-peak periods when demand is low.

Home Electric+ Night Boost offers a cheaper electricity rate at night (11p.m.-8a.m.) and a super cheap “boost” period from 2-4 a.m. when customers can charge their electric vehicles (EVs) for just over 5c per kwh.

Home Electric+ Weekender offers Saturday or Sunday electricity for free.

Home Electric+ SST (Standard Smart Tariff)’ offers Day/Night/Peak rates giving increased flexibility and control over their home usage.

Marguerite Sayers, executive director, Electric Ireland, said: “The introduction of our new Smart Meter offerings is a landmark day for us and our customers. Less consumption of energy at peak times means reduced carbon emissions, as well as reduced bills for households and businesses. Customers can use the insights we provide to discover how and when they use electricity so that they can change their usage patterns to make savings.

“At Electric Ireland we also see Smart Meters at the forefront of enabling our customers to make positive changes in addressing climate action. We are delighted to bring this service to our customers at a time when reducing household costs is of upmost importance.

“From today, Electric Ireland customers can start availing of the benefits of our Smart Metering services and we are here to support them on that journey. Not only will Smart Meter customers see the end of estimated bills, but they can also now choose a new, innovative and free plan to suit their individual needs, while continuing to enjoy their enduring discount rate of up to 8.5% on gas and electricity.”