Customer Service, Metering, Smart Grid

Hawaiian Electric picks SmartGridCIS for billing prepay

AMI and CIS provider SmartGridCIS said Hawaiian Electric Co. selected the company for their Pre-Pay Metering Project’s smart grid initial phase. This is part of Hawaiian Electric’s broader smart grid development efforts, beginning with selected distribution circuits on Oahu.

The smart grid network used in the project will be supplied by Silver Spring Networks.

The primary objective of this Pre-Pay Metering Project is to enable customers with AMI meters to pay in advance (pre-pay) for electricity. Project participants will no longer receive paper statements from Hawaiian Electric.

In lieu of the paper bills, participants will have the option to choose multiple forms of communications including SMS text, email or automated outbound phone calls. All outbound communications will include payment notifications, and provide ways to monitor daily usage. Additional account information will be provided to consumers through a branded consumer web portal application.

SmartGridCIS’s prepaid billing solution is interoperable with the UtilityIQ Advanced Metering Manager application from Silver Spring Networks, a smart grid technology and solutions provider, and a strategic partner in the effort to modernize Hawaii’s electric systems. This interoperability helps utilities reduce the upfront integration costs for the prepaid solution, speed up payments processing, and accelerate deployment timescales.

In previous projects at other utilities, these benefits include 10-12 percent energy savings relative to traditional billing programs, attributed to the increased awareness associated with more frequent and regular communication, where usage is tied to dollars and cents. As an additional benefit, customers on prepaid energy programs tend to be more satisfied with their utility. As a result, prepaid energy adoption rates are on the rise and are projected to reach 20 percent by 2020.