Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Customer engagement key advantage of smart grid deployment
Smart grid investments aren't just a matter for cities to consider to improve quality of life, but a key factor in modern customer engagement for utility providers. From helping consumers prepare for natural disasters to regulatory changes, several factors are affecting firms' need to engage their customers on a regular basis, and smart grids help significantly in this area by providing the infrastructure needed for that communication.
"With increased attention on utilities to communicate regularly with customers about energy usage, account and billing information and power outages, utilities will be challenged to develop comprehensive communication plans for their customers," said Shazir Khan, CEO of iFactor Consulting.
Natural disasters affect a localized area, but have far flung effects on the nation as a whole. Utility providers can do their part to help identify outage areas faster, convey that information to their customers and ensure that downtime is minimized by improving their networks with smart grids. The required media converters will transmit power and usage data properly for assessment and communication by optimizing the flow of information from the network itself to the provider's main hub.
In addition to disaster alerts and recovery, a widespread adoption of mobile devices and other new technologies is affecting how consumers want to access information about their utilities. Improved flow of data from the network itself via smart grid and serial to Ethernet adoption will help transmit that data accurately and quickly to client-accessible portals, such as a new mobile app or website. Research indicates that 26 percent of adults already access their utility provider through their mobile devices and that trend is only likely to grow.
Legislation and green efforts are driving investments into smart meters, new billing practices and other changes which affect the need for swift and accurate information retrieval directly from the smart grid. Optimizing with high-quality Ethernet to serial adapter solutions will help firms improve and overcome such challenges in a cost effective manner that ensures they are delivering high-quality service at all times. The elimination of latency from the network, as well as simplified meter reading and other advantages will boost customer appreciation through engagement, and focus these efforts on further growth.
Smart grid adoption promotes higher-quality service above all else, and enhancing customer engagement through these means will transfer these benefits directly to the people who need it most.
Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.