When talking to various customers, colleagues of mine and myself “rediscovered” the well-known fact that a Smart Meter rollout is expensive from effort and device costs perspective. On the other side it’s hard to create value add for end-customers and/or Utilities especially if Smart Meter rollout is a legal obligation. In the following discussions we focused especially on potential value add generation based on “standard smart meters”.
One challenge – two promising scenarios:
- Prepayment based on “non-prepayment-enabled-meters”
- Prosumer microgrid management
Meanwhile we even got one step ahead and build standardized basic implementation packages to make our ideas tangible, well knowing underlying market conditions may vary from country to country.
Prepayment of smart meter utilities
…, lower credit risks, faster cash flow and increase customer satisfaction.
This approach is mainly based on prepayment for utilities which is a solution that can bring benefits to both the Utility and its Consumers. Consumers can enroll for a payment option which allows them to decide in advance how much and how often they want to pay and manage their consumption accordingly – Utilities can minimize the risk revenue losses and costs incurred due to bad debts by getting paid in advance and being able to manage the delivery of energy with much greater flexibility.
We recently finalized a standardized implementation package enabling Utilities within weeks to run prepayment for utilities on SAP for Utilities via SAP AMI Integration for Utilities.
Prepayment for utilities is able to handle all prepayment related business activities into the SAP IS-U system, and is based on the billing centric prepayment model without the need for dedicated “prepayment-enabled-meters” or smart meters configured in a specific mode:
- You can use any meters that will not need to “know” about the customer being on a prepayment program.
- You take advantage of the availability of daily or more frequent metering for a backend-based prepayment application.
- The account balance calculation and monitoring are done completely in the SAP for Utilities.
The package comes with best practice configuration for:
- Prepayment for utilities
- FI-CA and invoicing automatic clearing
- Prepayment account top-up via incoming payments
- Prepayment action framework with
- customer E-Mail notifications
In addition, we included the prepayment solution integration into
- Contact center run by SAP Cloud for Customer
- Self-service run by SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities and Public Sector
Prosumer microgrid management
…, lower generation investment and grid extension needs, increase generation efficiency.
According our discussions an intelligent micro grid management of prosumers can have significant impact on distribution and generation needs. Synchronizing consumption and renewable production will lead to a flattened generation curve resulting in lower investment of short-term generation and increased efficiency of long-term generation capacities. Synchronization on local microgrid level will have furthermore positive impact on grid extension needs.
The current version of our implementation package enables SAP for Utilities systems via SAP AMI Integration for Utilities within weeks to:
- Divide the grid into microgrids
- Assign consumption and production meters to microgrids
- Aggregate within a microgrid
- Real Production
- Real Consumption
- Forecasted Production
- Forecasted Consumption
- Analyze Production vs. Consumption (Real and Forecast)
- Microgrid synchronization framework automatically triggering
- Dis-/reconnection of single production e.g. solar installations
- Dis-/reconnection of single consumption e.g. storage device