The Smart Metering Handbook
Landis+Gyr in Finland teamed up with three utilities to address this issue. The result is the “Smart Metering Handbook“ – an accessible comprehensive guide that explains the benefits of smart metering, clarifies misunderstandings, informs end-customers about the actual meter changes, and explains the roll-out project.
Taking the customer seriously
The first “Smart Metering Handbook” was done in conjunction with Lappeenrannan Energia. “With this book, we want create a positive attitude towards smart metering and strengthen our company image. Also, we want to avoid unnecessary calls to our customer service – many of the common questions are covered in this book” explains Pia Laakkonen, Service Manager from Lappeenrannan Energia. “The first 2,000 handbooks have now been sent to our end customers and the feedback has been positive. Aarno Pitkänen, one of Lappeenrannan Energia’s customers, praises the book and the benefits of Smart Metering: “The handbook is distinct and readable – and the best part is that I don’t have to remember to send my meter reading anymore!”
“Customers feel that they get a much clearer idea about what smart metering is and how they benefit from the technology,” summarizes Pia Laakkonen. Altogether, 50,000 customers will be sent a printed version of the handbook prior to deployment, and the books will be sent out in stages as the rollout proceeds.
Presently, Landis+Gyr is cooperating with two other Finnish customers on “Smart Metering Handbooks”. Oulun Energia Siirto ja Jakelu will start the mass rollout of a smart metering solution for 90,000 consumers during the fall when the book is ready for publishing. Also, Kuopion Energia, which has a contract with Landis+Gyr to install 50,000 smart meters over the next two years, has developed a handbook to prepare their customers for the changes ahead.
Even though the benefits of smart metering remain the same, the handbooks are tailored to the needs of each utility. “The book supports utilities’ general customer communication, and they want to highlight the topics that are most important for them and their customers,” explains Kati Pesola, Landis+Gyr Marketing Manager in Finland.
The Finnish initiative sets an example for how to engage customers in a positive way, and provides insight on how to turn them into stakeholders during large-scale deployments.