Realizing the benefits of bringing utilities together to share their experiences, the Department of Energy Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (DOE|OE) Advanced Grid Research division launched an initiative to collect the experiences, insights, and lessons learned of utility representatives implementing emerging technology. The Voices of Experience (VOE) Initiative is unique in that it compiles the valuable insights and advice provided directly by utility personnel at the forefront who are working the challenges, interconnecting the new resources, and testing the emerging technology. Utilities participated in working group discussions, regional meetings and individual interviews with the purpose of sharing industry knowledge so that all utilities can better prepare for the operational challenges they face in this changing industry.
The original business cases for implementing an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) focused on the cost savings that could be achieved from avoided truck rolls and the end of manual meter reading. Now more than a decade since smart meters hit the industry, utilities are learning that the value of AMI goes far beyond logging energy usage. Advanced meters are end-point sensors that provide granular information on system operations enabling utilities to operate more efficiently and on customer energy usage providing opportunities to develop a new relationship with their customers. This report documents how engineers, data analysts, product developers, customer service representatives, and people throughout the organization are digging into the data, pairing it with other data, asking more questions, gaining insights and making data-driven decisions.