By Krishan Gupta, Director of Product Management, eMeter

The power distribution network is essential infrastructure for any utility – yet most utilities have had remarkably few tools that provide insight into what is actually happening on their network at any given time. This has made it challenging for utilities to respond to underlying problems, adapt to consumer engagement and other systemic changes, and plan for the future.

Fortunately, applying analytics to smart meter data can help utilities operate more smoothly and avoid considerable expenses associated with distribution, in the short and long term. For decades, all distribution network performance information came from SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) systems that monitor delivery of power out to substations. This allowed utilities to make very rough estimates and form perpetually outdated models of load curves for any particular class of users – if they were lucky, they may have been able to differentiate between houses and apartments. It was on this scant micro basis that utilities made major decisions about their current and future distribution network.

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