Middle East utilities go smart very fast and DEWA took the lead.
Business goals and expected benefits
Oil prices staying at low levels force governments of GCC countries to look for sources of additional income. Reducing state subsidies to electricity and water bills is one of the often mentioned options, although it is socially and politically sensitive. It seems that reduction of domestic consumption of fuel used for power generation and water desalination can create an important stream of additional income.
International studies and analysis done for GCC governments show that Smart Metering systems can create significant benefits and fill in part of the gap. A report prepared for Saudi regulator ECRA shows that total benefits can be even 10 times bigger than investment in Smart Metering programs (15 years horizon). Most identified benefits are of indirect nature (reduced generation costs and increased availability of fuel for export). Direct benefits will result mainly from improved operations and decreased non-technical losses of water and electricity.
Smart Meters can do the job
There is strong belief that Smart Metering systems will significantly contribute to achievement of above the mentioned benefits. In reality Smart Meters will deliver commercial information about consumption and technical capabilities to more actively interact with consumers (e.g. DSM programs). Software which will use this data and enable new business processes will be of critical value in achieving expected benefits.
There are at least four critical elements of successful Smart Metering programs:
- Installation of metering and communication infrastructure
- Preparation of the organization to adopt new or modified business processes
- Education and engagement of internal stakeholders (employees) and consumers
- Software application platform and tools which can translate consumption data into business value
SAP provides solutions supporting all four elements listed above and can help utilities avoid roll-out delays, budget overruns and ensure the shortest possible time to benefit achievement. SAP solutions can be grouped accordingly:
- Smart Meter roll-out – support for long term planning and installations execution
- Smart Meter Assessment – set of tailored services supporting transformation of business model, business processes and IT architecture
- CRM and Multichannel foundation – to enable customer engagement and education
- MDM; AMI Integration, Prepayment, HANA Live, Predictive Analytics , DSM and other applications – complete platform powered by SAP HANA supporting all AMI enabled operational processes and advanced use cases needed to achieve huge
There is one very important thing which can be critical for the success of very costly Smart Metering program – solid foundation of integrated business applications in the areas of Customer Cervices, Asset Management, and Analytics.
DEWA – Dubai Electricity and Water Company shared its experience during the SAP for Utilities conference which took place in Berlin recently. We could hear that:
- Tremendous improvement of customer services quality and performance was achieved over last few years resulting in Customer Satisfaction rates among the highest in the world
- Adoption of SAP HANA technology as the platform for analytics proved outstanding performance improvement and huge data footprint reduction
- Implementation of Smart Metering roll-out starting with long term planning will support deployment process
DEWA is expected to be most important contributor to Smart Dubai Initiative taking responsibility for Smart Metering system, enabling connection of distributed generation (photovoltaic) and building network of charging stations for electrical vehicles.