Metering - Billing - Information Systems
It makes sense that metering, billing and information systems (MBIS) have been greatly influenced by the technological explosion and from a revenue protection perspective all for the better. There is no doubt that each component relies on the other to varying degrees. Revenue protection also relies on these areas – heavily! As many realise, revenue loss occurs in a variety of ways which must be addressed by revenue protection departments. Metering accuracy and reliable consumption information is vital in preparing a theft case. The meter may not record 100% of the load due to diversion, but it is important that the meter be 100% accurate in recording the load it sees.
The importance of metering accuracy may not seem readily apparent when energy is circumvented around the meter until one is faced with that question during cross examination by a defence attorney. Suddenly the value of the loss is placed in question. AMR systems bring tamper indicators to assist in the discovery of a fraud. The metered consumption can be made quickly available so as not to leave gaps in usage patterns. Information is the lifeblood of a revenue protection programme. Consumption patterns and customer information from systems provide the basis for determining the duration and amount of fraud that has occurred. Billing systems now offer timely recalculation of losses with indisputable accuracy. This shows how important MBIS is in the revenue protection arena.
IURPA is fortunate to have been associated with Smart Energy International for the past several years. We participated in the Metering Americas conference recently held in New Orleans and, as in the past, IURPA provided information on a variety of topics. Our desire was to continue the education process for all those involved with MBIS issues, as well as revenue protection participants. We hope that sharing our experiences showed how important MBIS is to an effective revenue protection programme. We wanted attendees to bring value back to their companies on revenue protection issues, which may result in enhancements that focus on the reduction of non-technical losses.
IURPA is comprised of revenue protection professionals throughout the world whose interest is to share information so that we all may benefit from it. One only needs to access the IURPA web site www.iurpa.org to view the various activities taking place. This year, in the United States, there will be four regional conferences. The joint conference will be held in Atlanta, Georgia in June.
We hope individuals from MBIS backgrounds consider attending a regional conference this year. Our success relies on their knowledge and understanding of revenue protection issues. The more we can share our needs with them, the better they can use their expertise to provide the tools for revenue protection to continue its focus on revenue loss issues.