In the US, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has signed up technology consultancy Brillio to execute a smart grid pilot programme.
The Los Angeles city utility said this week it plans to develop an advanced smart grid infrastructure to generate better insights into energy consumption patterns and help LADWP streamline demand generation and distributed automation, and offer more personalised service to customers.
As part of the pilot, Brillio will help LADWP implement a smart grid operations centre, as well as carry out customer sentiment analysis.
The pilot also aims to offer consumers improved services and products that will allow them to actively manage their energy consumption, utility bills and carbon footprint.
Raj Mamodia, CEO of Brillio, said the consultancy will draw on its expertise with data management and digital technologies to help LADWP achieve its goals.
Mr Mamodia said: "Brillio understands the importance of the programme in building a grid that is resilient, adaptable and high performing to meet the future needs of Los Angeles County residents."
LADWP serves 4.1 million residents and businesses in a territory.
Its inventory includes 3,655 miles of transmission lines, 8,789 miles of overhead distribution lines, 7,238 miles of water pipes, 114 water tanks and reservoirs, and 59,605 fire hydrants.
Smart grid pilot LA
In July 2014, the LADWP activated 52,000 smart meters in residential and commercial properties across the city this week as part of two-year pilot project Smart Grid LA.
The utility will introduce a web-based portal over the next couple of months allowing customers to monitor their own usage as well as compare with others in their locality.
Marvin Moon, director of power system engineering at LADWP, explains: "Right now people don’t even have a clue as far as what kind of usage they are or how they compare - are they an energy hog or a super miser?"
If successful, the smart metering pilot, which was funded by a US$60 million Department of Energy grant and US$60 million from LADWP, will be extended to the utility's service area.
At present, less than 5 per cent of the company's customer base is using smart metering technology.
The aim of the Smart Grid LA project is to find solutions to boosting the cyber security of the power grid and improve infrastructure for electric cars.