2017 is a big year for smart metering in the UK – with some fast approaching deadlines regarding the end of SMETS 1 installations and the go-live of SMETS 2 and its supporting infrastructure.
We’re surrounded by news headlines shouting about how the industry is not going to meet the 2020 deadline – but how are energy utilities preparing for the smart future? With the release of the 1.3 update, the DCC will soon have completed the initial roll-out of the infrastructure needed to facilitate the installation of interoperable meters. And whilst nobody is expecting the floodgates to open and data to start pouring into the system it’s clear that this is the start of a new beginning for the energy industry,
But with change, comes challenge. Smart meters will enable closer and more integrated relationships with customers – they’ll have more information about their energy usage to hand, whilst companies will have precise usage data, bringing an end to the old profile class system and allowing accurate and more timely balancing and settlement. Customers will be able to purchase additional products to better connect and manage their homes, and even their health via the new infrastructure – and the amount of data flowing around the system will increase exponentially.
In 2016 we kicked off our annual skills survey looking to see how companies were planning for the challenges ahead, building the skills they needed in their workforce. And what became apparent was that smart metering skills were in high demand. Operationally, businesses need to be prepared for more data, but they also have to have the skills to turn that data into something useful. The opportunities for businesses are endless – faster switching, Time of Use tariffs, more personalised customer communications – do you have the skills available in your business to cope?
As a business we’re focused on helping our customers through this period of change. Our specialist industry knowledge means we know the skills that energy companies are looking for – and where to find them. We’re also looking at building partnerships with industry training partners to help our recruits get up to speed as quickly as possible.
You can download our skills survey whitepaper here or drop us a line to find out how Utility People could help you manage the challenge of smart through people.