Energy issues have jumped back into the spotlight in recent months. Consumers have had to cope with sharply rising prices for electricity and natural gas, as well as supply shortages. While the current crisis has eased, the cost will continue to be borne for years to come, dramatically changing the face of the industry.
Given the constraints in both siting and transmitting power, evidenced by the 2003 North-eastern U.S. blackout, utilities’ priorities are shifting. Demand response programs and customer information have become critical issues. Utilities have long been adverse to letting go of their customer data and “cash register” but with the tight margins and intense pressure they now are under, outsourcing is becoming a necessary option.
While customers require more sophisticated interface technologies to meet their business and personal lifestyle needs, utilities and suppliers’ next generation energy management technologies and programs require:
|More customer usage data||Less complex access to data — browser access to data from load profile data meters|
|More automated technologies||Less person to person and more machine to machine communication|
|More customization of service||Less IT in IT|
The new utilities environment has left suppliers to the industry facing fierce competition. The days of selling what they think utilities need instead of what they want is over. Utilities are becoming more demanding in their product selections, often mixing-and-matching solutions and requiring modular installation, with realistic ROI numbers to work with.
Effective metering, energy management and CIS technologies are vital if the industry is to control future demand, minimize risk, increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, lower the cost of customer service and grow revenues.
The 5th annual Metering America 2004, together with the co-located Billing America 2004 and CRM/CIS America 2004, remains the definitive platform for discussion in this diverse and dynamic industry.
Event Highlights Include:
- AMR technical tours
- Emerging technologies for metering