Location Intelligence for Electricity Distributors

The regulatory changes taking place in the electricity industry mean that Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) are searching for business process innovations to improve their services to customers and address new market opportunities. This blog presents some of the innovative ways in which LDC organizations can utilize Location Intelligence services to increase productivity.

Asset Management Tracking

Information regarding the field location of a LDC’s assets provides a corporate knowledge base that can be used in multiple applications. Some examples of applications are outage restoration, maintenance crew scheduling, distribution network planning, new connection requests, and on-call excavation services. Location intelligence provides integrated, accurate and maintainable information solutions for coordinating utility assets.

Outage Restoration

Rapidly identifying outage locations and assisting the repair crew with a route to the site can minimize supply interruption duration. A call-taker enters the street address given by the customer and, using real-time Location-based services, quickly establishes the location of the outage report. Once outage analysis is performed, dispatch or logistics software is used with location data to derive the most effective route to the site for the repair crew. Outage statistics and reports can be generated from the stored information.

In addition to this, Location Intelligence provides an outage analysis application that compares feeder failure with adjacent lightning strikes, using newly available near real-time meteorological data, to identify the potential outage location.

Maintenance Crew Scheduling

Levering Routing and Logistics data, such as DMTI’s CanMap® RouteLogistics, it is possible to plan multi-site maintenance crew manifests using logistics software. Facilities that are adjacent to the proposed vehicle route or maintenance locations, and have maintenance orders outstanding, can be identified and added to the manifest yielding greater operational efficiency.

Distribution Network Planning

Anticipating where new distribution network will be required, so that customer connection time is minimized, has always been a challenge. Now, by identifying growth areas using demographic data, and tracking monthly additions to postal code files, LDCs can plan network expansion with greater confidence.

New Connection Requests

When customers call in for new connections, the connection location and the company’s network can be displayed immediately using Location data to geo-located the address. The call-taker can then advise, during the initial contact with the customer, whether the connection is to an existing network and can be scheduled quickly or whether network expansion will be required.

Marketing Program Development

DMTI Spatial has extensive experience working with commercial enterprises to support their marketing programs. Target demographic groups can be identified in geographical areas using DMTI Spatial’s CanMap Postal Code Suite with census data. DMTI can help you correlate mailing lists for identified postal code geographies for direct mail and telemarketing campaign.

When Union Gas, a major Canadian distribution company, used DMTI Spatial’s GIS visualization tools to see the addresses of existing customers and cross-referenced those with neighborhood and property characteristics, they could pinpoint the exact geographies to extend their marketing campaigns. As a result, uptake rates increased to 4% — and in some areas, went as high as 8% — in contrast to the usual average of 1%.

Want to know how your organization can leverage the power of location intelligence? Contact us today!

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