Oracle wins two major utility contracts


Larry Ellison,
Redwood Shores, CA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 24, 2008 – Technology provider Oracle has recently won two major utility contracts – one in Australia and the other in the U.S.

EnergyAustralia has implemented Oracle® Utilities Network Management System as its outage management solution. The new system allows EnergyAustralia to quickly identify, report on and resolve power outages, while providing accurate restoration status updates to customers.

The utility has more than 1.5 million customers, and the outage management solution enables the tracking of power outage information at the individual customer level, providing EnergyAustralia’s customer service representatives with enterprise-wide visibility into how an outage affects each consumer. This visibility allows EnergyAustralia to immediately identify power loss problem areas and communicate accurate outage and repair status information to customers.

"For more than a century, EnergyAustralia has been committed to providing the highest quality service to our business, public sector and residential customers," said Lynton Jamieson, executive manager network customer operations, EnergyAustralia. "Oracle Utilities outage management solution helps us reduce power outage durations and provide superior responsiveness and communications during times of greatest customer need."

The Oracle Utilities outage management solution is an integrated suite of real-time operations technology applications that integrate existing customer information systems (CIS), geographic information systems (GIS) and other network management systems. The application suite provides increased visibility throughout EnergyAustralia’s network, enabling the company to better manage its transmission and distribution assets. Oracle Utilities outage management solution also provides EnergyAustralia with the real-time insight required to quickly make informed decisions regarding power outages and related service issues.

In the U.S., Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is using Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing on an Oracle enterprise grid to power the largest smart meter initiative in the United States to date, helping businesses and households become more energy-efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

PG&E serves approximately 15 million people in Northern and Central California. Each day, the company prints and mails more than 260,000 bills and processes about $40 million in payments. It receives about 15 million calls each year. Launched this year, the PG&E SmartMeter™ initiative will allow the utility to replace monthly, in-person meter reads with automatic reads to improve customer service, restore power more quickly during outages and help reduce peak electricity demand. During the next five years, PG&E will upgrade more than 10 million customer meters to enable frequent meter reads (daily for gas, hourly or 15-minute intervals for electric). The volume of meter reads will grow from four million to 120 million meter reads per month for gas and from five million to 3.6 billion meter reads per month for electric.

The company will use Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing to maintain and manage both the meter inventory and customer information — converting the raw data into billable usage and generating bills based on each customer’s selected rate option/program. The application will allow PG&E to provide its SmartMeter customers with detailed usage information they can use both to better understand and manage their bills, and to participate in future energy efficiency and demand-response programs.

PG&E recently transitioned from a mainframe environment (IBM DB2 running on OS/390) to an enterprise grid using Oracle Database and Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) running on UNIX servers. The UNIX servers run on IBM System p570s in an eight-node Oracle RAC cluster, increasing computational capacity while also reducing environmental data center costs by 50 percent. PG&E expects to save $5 million each year with the new system.