The Edison Foundation predicts that by 2020, there will be nearly 60 million smart meters installed throughout the US to aid in field service optimization. There’s a lot of talk surrounding these technologically advanced meters but many are still asking themselves – what exactly do they do and how will they benefit me?
Smart meters are an advanced version of traditional utility meters that communicate hourly usage data back to the service provider in real time. These meters also provide the most accurate usage data to the customer so they can better monitor their electrical and gas usage. Smart meters are on the rise and for many good reasons. Here’s the break down on why these modern day meters are quickly gaining in popularity.
1. Faster Restoration
Data from the customer communicates hourly with a meter data management system that links with workforce management software devices. With this real time data flow between customers and field service providers, outages can be detected exponentially faster with smart meters. The faster outages are detected, the faster fleets can spring into action to resolve the issue.
2. Environmentally Conscious
Not only do smart meters help consumers to be more aware of their usage, but they will hopefully negate the need to build more power plants or use older, less efficient power plant during peak utility consumption episodes. Fewer power plants are better for the environment because they emit large amounts of greenhouse gas and other air emissions.
Pairing smart meters with optimized field service workforce management systems is also a great way to achieve a green workforce solution.
3. Reduced Cost of Operation
By implementing smart meters instead of traditional meters, providers are greatly increasing field service optimization and reducing cost of operation because routine meter reading routes are less frequent, excessive power plant usage is negated and billing is more accurate and quickly applied. When these components reduce overhead cost, the field service provider can maintain competitive pricing and the consumer benefits from a lesser cost of service. It’s a win-win situation for both sides of the industry.
4. Improved Security
Because smart meters are constantly communicating with the field service provider, theft and tampering can be detected far sooner than with traditional meters and resolution can be applied to the situation before it becomes a major issue. As a result of this technology, people will be less likely to tamper or steal in the first place, as it is more difficult to get away with.
PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
For field service optimization, smart meters are a mega influence. The marketplace continues to gain speed and the implementation of devices like smart meters are critical moves in order to keep up. Feeding fast, accurate data through your workforce management system will drive efficiency and productivity to a new level and when the customer benefits as well, business relationships will become stronger than ever.
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