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Tapping into AMI Data with Digital Alerts

By Crystal Leaver on

AMI utility meter

Customers with AMI smart meters generate up to 1,440 data points per month, but with the exception of informing energy bills, most of this valuable data is left unused. This data can not only help utilities improve the customer experience, but can also help them better understand and manage their energy usage. 

Digital alerts powered by AMI data can be used to create a more personalized view of a customers’ energy consumption and establish a benchmark to help customers understand if their bill is on track and predict changes.

[The utility] recently started projecting what my bill would look like if I kept doing things the same, and I realized how high it would be so I would make adjustments to it. That was helpful.

Customer Quote from Uplight Focus Groups

November 2020

AMI alerts can be sent right between bills if energy usage is normal or lower than the previous cycle. They can also be triggered to send at any point in the billing cycle if a customer’s usage increases. By providing another touchpoint, energy providers can maintain peace of mind, give customers an opportunity to make changes before it’s too late, and encourage them to think about their energy use more often.

However, only displaying a customers’ AMI usage data on these communications isn’t enough. Customers aren’t likely to know how to interpret it. Rather, digital alerts need to give context, background information, and recommendations by explaining to customers: 

  1. When did the change in energy usage occur and how long did it last? 
  2. Why was there an increase and is the unusual usage weather or non-weather related?
  3. How is this usage going to impact my bill?
  4. What can I do about it? 

Giving customers access to this information has a variety of benefits. AMI digital alerts have a higher than level of engagement with an open rate 3x the industry standard. Alerts also help clear up confusion around bills. 94% of customers who engage with AMI alerts say that they are useful.

Alerts can motivate customers to save more energy while giving them a place to self-serve instead of relying on the call center, which can be an expensive way to serve customers. At one Southern utility,  high bill alerts resulted in a 30% decrease in call center traffic.

Finally, AMI alerts can be a useful tool for low to moderate income (LMI) customers, who tend to check their bills more frequently than other segments. Using alerts, LMI customers at a Midwestern utility saved a higher portion of their energy costs than their higher income peers. 

Digital AMI alerts enable utilities to harness a treasure trove of information so that utilities can better engage customers with a user friendly self-serve option, increase energy efficiency savings, and reach LMI customers. Read more about Uplight’s AMI Alerts

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