THE UTILITY ANALYTICS INSTITUTE’S 2012 INNOVATION AWARDS recognize, honor and celebrate the industry’s most outstanding utility companies in analytics—leaders who are pioneering the future and accelerating the growth of utility analytics innovation and excellence. The results are in, and we are pleased to announce that Florida Power and Light (FPL), Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) and Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) took top honors. In this article, we take a little bit of time to introduce the winning projects. A judging panel of Institute and Intelligent Utility colleagues reviewed numerous entries across the three categories of customer analytics, grid analytics and analytics business infrastructure. Within each of those categories, we judged the projects on business impact, use of process and technology, and innovation. Here’s a quick look at the winning projects.
Customer analytics award winner
Florida Power and Light (FPL)
Behavior model scoring to decrease costs and improve customer experience
FPL’s analytics project demonstrates the power of analytics to help utilities better understand and serve customers. The utility’s revenue recovery group is charged with ensuring that customers pay for the electric service they receive. Using customer attributes that project an account’s non-payment propensity and provide a risk score for each customer, the group developed a customer behavior model that scores the likelihood of an account becoming seriously delinquent.The team derived the model by quantifying the relationships between customer behavior characteristics, payment history and other attributes. Statistical analysis studied a substantial sample of FPL customer records identifying key indicators of a customer’s likelihood to default. The score assists in prioritizing collection actions based on the risk of loss. The behavior model score is a key contributor to FPL’s industry-leading performance in write-offs.
Analytics business infrastructure award winner
Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E)
Three-tiered analytics infrastructure
OG&E’s efforts emphasize the importance of planning for the future with analytics. The utility has a three-tiered information architecture that includes a performance-based warehouse, expanded data integration and new analytical and presentation capabilities. The data warehouse is designed to expand to hundreds of terabytes of data by 2014. Data integration will incorporate real-time messaging in addition to traditional extract-transform-load, batch-based processes. Outputs are configured so that all analysts see a single version of the truth with a master data information web service that solves the dilemma of analysts using separate systems with variations of the truth. Governance of analytics is an important item at OG&E. The utility takes care to inform employees what tools should be used, how to use them and what’s already been done, so the company can prevent people from reinventing the wheel.
[Editor’s note: You can read more from OG&E on data in this issue’s “Out the Door” section at the back of the magazine.]
Grid analytics award winner
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
Integrating distribution automation & asset management
SMUD offers a great example of a utility that effectively blends smart grid investments with grid optimization and asset optimization analytics. SMUD is including grid analytics as part of a significant investment in digitizing and automating their grid. SMUD may not be focused directly on asset management with their smart grid efforts, but the data and analytics they’re using for grid optimization and automation ultimately helps with asset management.
SMUD is laying the foundation for better analytics capabilities through their automation and smart grid investments. Examples include:
•In the case of a fault, quick analytics tell the company whether it can tie together circuits, and whether a circuit can take the additional load because of a fault on another circuit.
•Another grid optimization area SMUD is focusing on is conservation voltage reduction by reducing substation voltages.
•Through smart meter voltage data, SMUD is able to identify areas that have voltage issues on the system and pass that along to asset management folks.
Please join me, the Institute and Intelligent Utility magazine in congratulating our 2012 Innovation Award winners.