Utility Providers in the US have invested billions of dollars in advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), yet the broad majority of utilities have “vastly underused” this technology to help their customers save money and improve the customer experience (CX).
That’s according to a new report released in January 2020 by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The study, which surveyed 52 of the largest US electric utilities, found that only one of these utility companies was optimizing its use of AMI to help customers save money.
The report claims that part of the problem is that utilities are failing to pair AMI and smart metering technologies with the customer engagement strategies needed to enable, motivate and support customers. These are actionable steps that must be taken for the customer to modify their energy usage and consume utilities efficiently.
Before we get into why this is important for modern utility providers, let’s first take a look at what AMI actually is and why it’s important for today’s utility providers.
What is AMI?
Advanced metering infrastructure is defined as an integrated system of smart meters, communication networks and data management systems that enable two-way communication between utility providers and customers.
This marks a huge change from the traditional utility, which, driven by a considerable lack of competition in their industry, would shy away from new consumer-facing technologies. However, the ever-growing focus on customer experience that leaves the end user demanding more from the companies they engage with, has meant utility providers have had to adapt.
AMI provides utility providers with a range of functions that were previously not possible or took long, manual hours to complete. Using AMI, utility providers can:
- Remotely measure utility usage
- Connect and disconnect services
- Identify and isolate outages
- Detect utility tampering
This represents a huge opportunity for utility providers to improve the customer experience. In fact, AMI technologies can help utilities to save money on operations and maintenance costs, improve conservation and demand accuracy, offer better customer service, reduce customer effort and much more.
However, as the earlier report mentioned, the vast majority of utility providers are failing to take advantage of this.
Why utility providers must implement customer engagement tools to optimize AMI data
With consumers becoming increasingly conscious of the products and utilities they consume, AMI represents a fantastic opportunity for utility providers to proactively help customers achieve their environmental goals, in addition to their financial goals.
Utility providers can use AMI technologies to offer better programs to customers, share usage insights and to help encourage customers to save money and cut their carbon footprint at the same time.
Yet this can’t happen with just AMI technologies alone. Utility providers use AMI in tandem with customer engagement tools to motivate customers to take actions and modify their energy usage.
How can SilverBlaze help?
SilverBlaze has designed the innovative SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities to help encourage your utility provider to engage your customer with easy-to-reach, real-time usage insights.
This award-winning software allows your utility to provide customers with smart metering data through simple notification and alerts, which are delivered directly to their favourite smart device.
Our unique customer portal will help your utility optimize your existing advanced metering infrastructure (AMI). In turn, this will improve your customer experience, enhance customer engagement, empower you to provide better customer service and much more.
Want to learn how the SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities works? Get in touch with our team of customer experience experts today. We would love to answer any questions you have and provide you with a demo of our innovative software.