[img:ofgem-logo.thumbnail_0.gif| ]London, U.K. --- (METERING.COM) --- August 7, 2007 - All six of the big energy suppliers in the U.K. have an extensive range of programmes in place to support vulnerable or fuel poor consumers – and most consumers say they would prefer to take some sort of positive action if they were having difficulty paying their bills.
These are among the main conclusions from two new surveys from the energy regulator Ofgem, on supplier initiatives to help vulnerable customers and on consumer awareness of supplier social responsibility initiatives.
Ofgem says in its review of initiatives to help vulnerable customers that the different suppliers have taken different approaches:
Commission]New Delhi, India --- (METERING.COM) --- August 6, 2007 – The Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) is making changes to existing laws covering theft of revenue, after the passing of the recent amendments to the 2003 Electricity Act.
The changes that will be made to the Delhi Supply Code and Performance Standards Regulations include a provision that distribution companies may disconnect electricity supply immediately whenever it appears that customers are stealing power. Up until now distribution companies had first to replace the existing meter with a new meter whenever it suspected that theft was occurring, and a court order had to be obtained before a customer could be disconnected. Once the new laws have been promulgated, distribution companies will be allowed to disconnect customers straight away, although they will still be required to report the theft to the police within 24 hours of disconnection.
Executive, Eskom]Johannesburg, South Africa --- (METERING.COM) --- August 3, 2007 – South African utility Eskom is piloting a load curtailment solution as one of the strategies to mitigate the impact of blackouts caused by supply shortages. The power crisis facing South Africa as a result of unprecedented load growth has resulted in power outages becoming more and more frequent, and voluntary customer load curtailment initiatives will help address the problem.
While Eskom has had interruptible load agreements in place with selected large customer groups for many years, there is now a need to scale up these programs. Enerweb, a utility-focused specialist IT solutions provider, had already implemented the demand market participation (DMP) program, where over 600 MW of load curtailment had been achieved with the cooperation of a handful of Eskom’s largest customers, but needed to find a product which could manage hundreds of customers. Itron Inc.’s Enerweb solution was chosen as the means to achieve Eskom’s curtailment objectives and is in the process of being implemented.
The idea is for any customer with flexible load (including a standby generator) ultimately to be able to participate in the program. Eskom will financially compensate customers for the kWhs removed from the network, provided that these customers have an appropriate meter enabling automated reading. The first customers are currently being piloted.
The utility benefits of the solution include:
Hunt Technologies]Atlanta, GA and Pequot Lakes, MN, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- July 30, 2007 – This summer Hunt Technologies and Cellnet are combining their business operations in a move that will enable customers of both companies to receive the broadest range of advanced metering solutions and support available for electric, gas and water utilities. The resulting new company brings together the experience gained from deploying 20 million advanced metering endpoints using multiple technology options including PLC, RF and RF mesh networks, and the resources and support of more than 700 employees.
USA] Harrisburg, PA, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- July 26, 2007 – A survey conducted by the Retail Energy Supply Association, a diverse group of retail energy suppliers who share the common vision that competitive retail energy markets deliver a more efficient, customer-oriented outcome than regulated utility structure, has revealed that almost three-quarters of the residential electricity customers polled in Maryland prefer being able to choose from a variety of suppliers. The survey was conducted in April this year among 220 residential electricity decision-makers from Maryland’s four investor-owned utilities – Allegheny Power, Baltimore Gas and Electric, Delmarva Power & Light and Potomac Electric Power Company.