What is Smart Meter Health?
Smart Meter Health (SMH) is a unique service, dedicated to helping energy suppliers optimise their smart meter portfolio, enhance the customer experience, and generate greater value. SMH enables:
- Compliance with mandated smart obligations
- Improved accuracy and efficiency of billing
- Reduced cost to serve
- Customers to enjoy the full benefits of smart meters
- New intuitive service propositions, including smart tariffs.
With Ofgem’s new annual targets framework requiring suppliers to ensure smart meters fitted in homes and businesses retain smart functionality year-on-year, suppliers face the challenge of ensuring their portfolios maintain optimum performance. Smart portfolios can face operational challenges for different reasons if not proactively managed by suppliers post-installation, such as technical communication issues arising during commissioning of the meter or thereafter.
If not identified and addressed, such resolvable matters can impact negatively on consumer experience and supplier performance, including higher supplier costs, billing complications, and increased customer churn.
SMS’s Smart Meter Health solution supports utilities in resolving smart portfolio technical issues through a specialist technical consultancy team, identifying process and technical improvements to deliver a programme that ensures the smart portfolio is performing optimally.
During 2021, we worked with a UK energy supplier on a 6 month assignment to understand and improve Smart Read Utilisation. Following our end-to-end, turnkey 5-step approach to smart portfolio optimisation, we took a collaborative approach with the client to:
- Identify root causes through analysing process, technical and connectivity factors
- Perform full portfolio analysis and segmentation (pre and post commissioning)
- Provide industry knowhow and technical expertise throughout
- Build and leverage relationships that supported supplier process and systems knowledge
- Utilise SMS’s Firmware Management solution
- Implement enduring triage processes to reduce ongoing risks
- Enact a closed-loop, end-to-end process to ensure long term fixes were in place
- Mitigate the risk of liabilities of asset exchanges
- Take ‘All Reasonable Steps’ to demonstrate portfolio management
In implementing the 6 month trial to achieve ‘Smart Meter Health’ across the supplier’s smart portfolio, we were successful in delivering on our objectives, including a headline return on investment (ROI) of up to £78 per resolved meter asset.
To realise this, we were able to provide clarity of portfolio position at granular level and enable a clear resolution route that encompassed:
- Splitting of assets by root cause (Installed vs Inherited assets)
- Automated weekly portfolio refresh
- Controlled workflow management
- Traceable processes to manage risk of MAP removal costs
- Clear view of activity per asset to support smart obligations reporting
- Processes designed and implemented across the portfolio
- Bulk remediation leading to low cost solutions across the portfolio
“Smart meters offer suppliers and their customers huge advantages. Having a well maintained, compliant and optimally performing portfolio is essential to realising the full benefits available and the opportunity to embrace the innovation that the technology brings. This will be increasingly critical for supplier stability, growth, and competitiveness in coming years.”
Simon Chester, Programme Manager
“The transition to smart meters is essential to achieving more efficient and effective supply in a challenging retail energy market. We were faced with upskilling and building a new workforce within our business, to understand and manage the challenges that this transition to smart brings.
"The Smart Meter Health service from SMS allowed us to focus on our customers and utilise SMS’s experience and expertise to focus on the technical recovery, readiness and roll out of a smooth transition to Smart. Enabling digital energy, high reliability and customer satisfaction as well as meeting our mandated obligations towards the Smart Meter Rollout.
"A collaborative approach with SMS improved our digital, smart daily read success by 25% along with first time commissioning rates going up and holding at above 96%. In the current energy crisis, services like this are becoming more and more essential, as a way to improve performance, without increasing operational costs.”
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