ISGF – Advisory Services

India Smart Grid Forum (ISGF) offers a host of specialized advisory services to utilities, regulatory commissions and ISGF Members.

5.1 Smart Grid Roadmaps

Utilities need to prepare Smart Grid Roadmap before embarking their Smart Grid journey. A well thought out smart grid roadmap aligned the business priorities of the utility and expectations of their stakeholders can bring about holistic transformation to the utility. ISGF has the expertise to prepare Smart Grid Roadmap for utilities.

ISGF played the pivotal role in the preparation and finalization of the Smart Grid Vision and Roadmap for India that was approved by the Ministry of Power in 2013.

Presently ISGF is preparing Smart Grid Roadmap for Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) .

5.2 Smart Grid Maturity Model (SGMM) Assessment

Smart Grid Maturity Model (SGMM) tool was initially prepared by set of technology companies and American Productivity and Quality council with inputs from several leading utilities. The tool in presently maintained by the software Engineering Institute(SEI) at Carnegie Mellon University. ISGF along with its member organisations have the capabilities to undertake SGMM survey of utilities.

SGMM is a valuable tool that helps utilities to:

  • Identify where they are on the smart grid landscape
  • Develop a shared smart grid vision and roadmap
  • Communicate with internal and external stakeholders using a common language
  • Prioritize options and support decision making
  • Compare to themselves over time and to the rest of the community (peers)
  • Measure their progress
  • Prepare for and facilitate change

5.3 Project Feasibility Studies and Detailed Project Reports

ISGF has done the feasibility studies for several Smart Grid projects and prepared Detailed Project reports for some among these.

5.4 Smart City Projects

“Smart Grids can be an anchor infrastructure for the Smart City. This is what ISGF has been advocating!”

In 2014, ISGF published the White Paper “Leveraging Smart Grid Assets for Building Smart Cities at Marginal cost”. The key concept proposed is to consider smart grid as the anchor infrastructure and some of the automation and IT systems of smart grids to be extended to other infrastructure domains such as water distribution, gas distribution, traffic and security etc.; extending the billing, collection and customer care systems to other domains etc. at marginal cost and operate efficiently

All state owned electricity distribution companies (Discoms) in India are implementing a set of basic IT and Automation solutions under the on-going R-APDRP scheme of the Ministry of Power. Some of the digital assets created under this program that already covers 1411 towns can be leveraged to build smarter cities at marginal costs. List of digital assets and smart infrastructure created under various schemes of Ministry of Power are as follows:

  1. GIS Map of the Towns
  2. Billing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
  3. SCADA/DMS System
  4. Common Command and Control Centre
  5. Outage Management Systems (OMS) and Mobile Workforce Management (MWFM)
  6. Application Integration

ISGF has helped several cities in India for preparation of smart City Plans with smart grids as anchor in infrastructure.

5.5 Social Media for Utilities

Internet has become the gateway to the world. Presently, with 205 million users, India has the third largest number of internet users in the world and with Government of India’s Digital India initiative, internet users in India are expected to grow to 500 million by 2018. With mobile phones becoming a must-have accessory (India has 930 million cell phone users), internet at the touch of a button is very much a reality. One can buy and sell just about anything on the internet - the possibilities are endless! Young India is very technology savvy, while the rest is fast discovering the power of the internet.

For a power utility, call centre has traditionally been the single touch-point with their customers. For utilities to be able to cope with the changing times and start excelling in their energy delivery, the customer service models are undergoing a paradigm shift. A large number of electric utilities in the US are already using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc., to connect with their customers, issue outbound communications, track customer complaints and queries etc. They are also being used as effective mediums for promoting energy efficiency measures, imparting safety tips and proper usage of domestic appliances, influencing consumer behaviour and forging positive consumer relationships particularly during power outages and storm recovery efforts.

Utilities can provide better services by integrating social media in their outage management, crisis/disaster handling, billing and collection and other customer related issues. In addition social media can be a platform for promotion of clean energy, DSM/DR activities, tariff plans, electric vehicle usage etc. It can also prove as an effective tool for branding and promotion of good will.

As customers flock to social media to connect and interact with businesses, customer centricity has never been more essential or immediate. For utilities, understanding the benefits of social media and building an engaging presence has become a business imperative.

India Smart Grid Forum(ISGF) is pleased to assist Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) for building effective social media presence and its maintenance.  The intent of this project was to deliver a complete social media solution designed to improve customer satisfaction and engagement.

Smart Grid Bulletin April 2020

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