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The VOE|AMI Working Group

DOE|OE established a VOE|AMI Working Group that was open to all industry professionals with an interest in leveraging AMI networks and data to improve distribution operations and enhance customer service. Through workshops, conference calls, and small group discussions, participants in the working group shared their experience, asked questions, and heard what other utilities are doing. Their insights and lessons learned are captured in the Voices of Experience|Leveraging AMI Networks and Data guidebook (coming soon).

Conference Calls

The Voice of Experience conference calls were intended to be interactive peer-to-peer discussions. Each conference call started with a short presentation from one of the participants and then the call was opened to all participants to ask questions and share their experiences. Department of Energy (DOE) hosted the following conference calls:

Planning the Teams and Tools to Fully Utilize AMI – Thursday, June 28 at 11:00 am Eastern

Featured Speakers: JP Dolphin, Manager, Strategic Data Science Team, Pacific Gas & Electric

As utilities begin to leverage AMI data through analytics to unlock additional operational capabilities and increase customer satisfaction, utilities need to think about what tools they need, how the data will be accessed and by whom, and what organizational structure will best allow utilities to fully utilize the benefits that AMI provides. JP Dolphin from PG&E will share his insights and advice about how utilities can start thinking about the role of analytics early on in AMI implementation to more quickly unlock AMI's value to the benefit of the company and the customer. Join us for an interactive discussion and share your insights. Framing questions for the discussion include:

  • What are the pros and cons of different organizational design options given a utility's current state of analytical and IT maturity?
  • Understanding the different levels of analytics and what are the skills needed to perform them?
  • What IT systems and tools are needed to help with both internal and external access of AMI data?
  • What tools are available that can make analytics easier?
  • How can customer analytics be integrated into the customer web portal to provide additional products and services?
Building a Data Repository – Wednesday, June 20 at 1:00 pm Eastern

Featured Speakers: Donny Helm, Director of Technology Strategy and Architecture at Oncor

The data an AMI generates provides utilities with valuable insights for operations; however, managing and storing that data so it can be utilized and accessed can be a challenge. Join us for a discussion on the different approaches utilities are taking. Donny Helm from Oncor will share his experience on what it took to create a data sandbox that empowers engineers and other utility personnel to explore new algorithms and find insights that increase operational efficiencies. Questions may include:

  • What are the key components of a data sandbox?
  • What are the main considerations for creating a data sandbox?
  • What processes changed or had to be developed?
  • What is the value (and challenges) to allowing all departments to access the data?
  • How are exploratory algorithms managed before becoming operational?
  • What are the pros and cons of in-house versus outsourcing data storage? And analysis?
  • What data collection intervals provide the most value?
Utilizing AMI Data for Operations – Monday, June 11 at 11:00 am Eastern

Featured Speakers: Josh Snoddy, Holy Cross Energy, AMI / GIS / System Operations Supervisor

The initial business case for AMI was typically built around reducing truck rolls and automating billing; however, utilities are realizing that was just the start. Utilities are using AMI data to predict asset health, improve power quality, identify connectivity issues, demonstrate inconsistencies with GIS, and more. Josh Snoddy from Holy Cross Energy will kick off our discussion on the many ways utilities are using AMI data to optimize operations and the power of marrying it with other data sources. We hope you will join us to share what you are doing as we develop a list of the different ways utilities are using AMI data. Questions we will use to frame the discussion include:

  • How is your utility using AMI data?
  • What efficiencies or benefits have you realized?
  • What other data sources are you utilizing?
  • What are the challenges to extracting value or automating processes for using the data?
  • What new approaches are you exploring or investigating?
  • What is the value of integrating AMI with other systems? What systems provide the most value?
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Putting Information In Customers' Hands - Wednesday, May 30 at 12:00 PM ET

Featured Speakers: Adam Cutter, Central Maine Power and Drury Mackenzie, Avangrid

Sharing AMI data with your customers can empower them to take a more active role in reducing energy costs. This call will kick off with Central Main Power and Avangrid sharing their experience in Maine and New York, the programs they have developed, and the value they are achieving by providing their customers with specific information about their energy usage. We will then open the discussion to all participants to ask questions and share their own experience. The goal of this call is to have utilities share their challenges, advice and insights on how AMI data is being used to enhance customer service and meet the customers' evolving expectations. Discussion questions will include:

  • What data (or granularity) do commercial and small industrial customers need?
  • What feedback and usage patterns do customers find most valuable?
  • How is your presentation of AMI data to your customers evolving?
  • Which AMI-enabled offerings have proven to be popular?
  • How have customers responded to AMI and the increased data it provides?
  • What products and services have you developed with the help of AMI data?
  • How are customers using the additional data that AMI provides to reduce usage?
Working with Third Party Service Providers - Friday, April 27, 2018 at 1:30 PM ET

Presenter: Mauro Dresti, Southern California Edison's (SCE), Customer Programs & Services

Third party service providers pose both opportunities and challenges for utilities. This call will explore how utilities are leveraging partnerships to add energy services that build stronger customer relationships and help achieve grid reliability goals. Southern California Edison partnered with thermostat manufacturers to develop their "Bring Your Own Thermostat" program. Mauro Dresti will share his insights and advice for working with third parties and the value achieved. Other questions we will discuss on the call include:

  • How can utilities and third parties work together to create value for all parties (utilities, customers, third party companies)?
  • How has AMI enhanced successful collaborations?
  • What is the impact to the customer relationship?
  • What kinds of usage data are you sharing with third parties and what are they sharing with the utility in return?
  • Are there data privacy concerns? If so, how are they being addressed?
  • What impact are third parties having on your operation and the industry?
The Value of Accurate Load Profiles - Wednesday, May 9 at 12:00 PM ET

Presenter: Richard Aslin, Pacific Gas & Electric

Consumer load profiles used to be developed based on monthly meter reads, and using them included a lot of supposition and guesswork. The more accurate, granular load profiles that AMI networks enable provide a powerful tool for increasing operational efficiencies and improving customer service. They also enable utilities to better plan and forecast resources, and develop programs that more closely align with customer needs. Richard Aslin from PG&E will share how using AMI data enhanced PG&E's distribution planning and allowed them to more precisely capture the impact of DER on forecasted load growth.

  • How are AMI load profiles changing the way utilities forecast capacity needs and understand system conditions?
  • How is a better understanding of customer energy usage changing operations?
  • How are more accurate load profiles allowing utilities to better manage peak load?
  • What is the optimal AMI data interval to provide the most value?
  • How is AMI data allowing utilities to develop better programs that meet both customer and operational needs?

Events

Small Group Meetings

DOE's Advanced Grid Research Division facilitated three regional Working Group meetings for the VOE|AMI effort. These peer-to-peer meetings convened utility representatives to discuss specific topics about the value utilities are unlocking with AMI as they analyze the data to gain operational experience with the technology. The meetings included presentations from utilities as well as facilitated group discussions:

West Coast Meeting
May 15, 2018 in Sacramento, California Hosted by
Sacramento Municipal Utility District
 
Download Agenda
East Coast Meeting
June 5, 2018 in Plantation, Florida Hosted by
Florida Power & Light
 
Download Agenda
Rural and Small Utility Meeting
June 7, 2018 in Raleigh, North Carolina Hosted by
NRECA and North Carolina's Electric Cooperatives
Download Agenda

Oncor Hosts Kickoff Workshop

The February 15th workshop, hosted by Oncor in Dallas, TX, brought utilities from across the country together to present and discuss challenges while brainstorming future opportunities when implementing advanced metering infrastructure. The day consisted of two panels: one operations—focused, the other customer—focused and facilitated breakout discussions. Ward Camp of East Fork Group and Judith Schwartz from To The Point led the workshop panels and discussions, successfully encouraging attendees to share their experiences. These initial shared experiences will help shape the upcoming conference calls as well as the final guidebook.


Please direct your questions to Sonja Berdahl.