When it comes to how small utilities feel about processing the large volume of data from smart meters, this analogy has to be one of the best: working with smart water meters data is like trying to drink from a fire hose.
The quote came from Don Smith, a water conservation coordinator at the City of Folsom Water Service in California.
In an article about adopting software apps for monitoring water consumption, Mr Smith said If it wasnt for Dropcountr [a mobile app], I would be spending a lot of time on Excel spreadsheets, trying to calculate all of this, one customer at a time.
The analogy of being overcome with a deluge of data, when all you need is a sip or two, must be true for many district-level utilities that have neither the manpower nor the budget to dedicate to deep data analytics.
But therein lies the rub. Without analytics, then the true benefits of smart meters cant be realised with consequent savings forecasts met and regulators kept happy.
Last week I wrote about utilities needing to understand the consumers journey to adopting smart meters and the associated change-management issues, but this process is also true for utilities and energy companies.
To harness the rich resource of smart meter data, they must understand how to handle the hose, to quote the analogy, or end up being sprayed in the face.
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