HomeRegional NewsAfricaHow smart grids enable utilities to become better service providers

How smart grids enable utilities to become better service providers

Yackov Dar, managing director of PCMA, uses the example of smart grid technology enabling utilities to notify customers of an outage ahead of time, thus positioning themselves as true service providers.

Utilities are looking for integrated solution providers who can supply a suite of smart grid services rather than implementing various applications or solutions, says Yackov Dar.

According to Dar, partnering with firms providing integrated smart grid solutions would help utilities to reduce costs for smart grid rollout, simplify project deployment as well as avoid challenges such as interoperability of different platforms.

“This would also help municipal utilities measure return of investment or the success of smart grid implementation. A suite or integrated solution allows measuring before and after project implementation.”

Yackov Dar reflects on the data

Asked whether utilities are maximising the full value of smart meter data, Dar responded that a number of utilities are making use of data to notify customers on outages in real time.

Utilities are also evaluating how much they are spending on grid maintenance and improving load management to protect distributed smart grid assets through smart technologies.

He said smart meter data is enhancing utility services and improving customer engagement in various programmes such energy efficiency and demand response initiatives.

“The smart meter data is helping service providers to become consumer partners rather than just service providers.

“Utilities should understand the overall requirements of a distribution company, to have the right equipment in place before choosing a smart grid partner,” he reiterated.

Watch the short video interview here:

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
As the Editor of ESI Africa, my passion is on sustainability and placing African countries on the international stage. I take a keen interest in the trends shaping the power & water utility market along with the projects and local innovations making headline news. Watch my short weekly video on our YouTube channel ESIAfricaTV and speak with me on what has your attention.