Empowering the Smart Consumer

Communication technology can now be used to transform the way the people consume electricity
 Technology has fundamentally changed the way that we live and interact. Today, it is possible to order food, buy clothes or hail a taxi in a number of cities across India, using just a smartphone. Public and private sector banks offer online and mobile-led transactions countrywide and rail tickets are received via SMS. Technology has given consumers unprecedented convenience and, ultimately, control over the products and services they consume.
In the telecoms sector, for example, the consumer can choose from a wide range of tariffs and take advantage of the different promotions available as part of these products. Tariffs incentivising use of SMS, voice or data mean that consumers can select the package that suits the way they communicate best, and ensure they get the best value for money. Communication technology can now be used to transform the way the people consume electricity.
According to a World Bank study, over 300 million Indians are currently living without access to power and those that do have access are frequently subject to blackouts during peak hours. Indian utilities are working with legacy infrastructure, which is incapable of supporting the power needs of India’s ever-growing population, and faces power losses due to inefficient transmission and theft.
Smart metering allows utilities to detect loss and theft and tackle these problems at the source. It also enables energy providers to monitor actual consumption and, therefore, bill consumers accurately. In clarifying and simplifying of the billing relationship between provider and consumer through smart metering, customers can receive accurate and regular bills based on their actual usage. Lower operational costs for utilities, via automated meter reading, billing and customer service, mean a reduction in energy costs for consumers and using the data generated by smart meters, utilities can provide increased reliability of supply and reduce blackouts.
Smart metering technology also offers customers the opportunity to budget their electricity spend more accurately, giving them access to real-time information on their consumption. Prepayment systems enable pay-as-you-go or prepay tariffs, in the same was as mobile phone tariffs, giving customers the advantage of knowing when their next bill will arrive. In addition, utilities can provide time-of-use tariffs to incentivise off-peak electricity usage by reducing off-peak costs. These tariffs allow consumers to choose when it is most cost-effective for them to consume energy and leads to more reliable supply overall.
Energy efficiency is of global interest. Countries around the world are deploying smart grid technologies to increase security of supply, and reduce costs as well as carbon emissions. The Indian government is focused on providing energy to all households by 2017 through smart grid technologies, and has a number of pilot projects in place across a number of regions. Cyan has worked with meter manufacturers, utilities and system integrators and is a part of many projects in India, including commercial projects for CESC in Karnataka, and commercial deployments for Tata Power Mumbai and Essel Utilities.
Cyan’s technology has been specifically developed and optimised for emerging markets, like India, and is available as both an integrated and retrofit solution. The integrated solution allows utilities to incorporate Cyan’s technology with new and replacement installations. However, many homes in India have legacy meters and for many Indian utilities, it is not viable to tear these out and replace them with new smart meters. This is the purpose of Cyan’s retrofit solution, which has been designed to provide smart metering functionality to existing static meters. Utilities can therefore ‘upgrade’ the existing infrastructure and allow customers to benefit from smart technology without the need to drive up costs to cover replacement meters.
Cyan’s communication platform enables shared advantages for both utilities and consumers, with the overall benefits of network evolutions, capacity grown, increased service quality and the ability to meet growing demand. Customers benefit from a personalised service, which enables them to better understand and manage their usage, and Time of Use tariffs enable them to cut their costs. Utilities gain increased network insight, and are better able to identify theft and losses and mitigate against them, as well as being able to proactively manage demand response. These benefits all lead to increased revenue assurance, which can then be used to upgrade and extend the country’s power infrastructure, ensuring improved reach and quality of supply for consumers.
In addition, utilities with assured revenues can enter long-term and competitive power purchase agreements to deliver uninterrupted power supply. In the long run, a utility with universal smart metering implemented will be able to deliver a high-quality electricity supply, at a reduced cost to consumers.
The technology required to enable all of these features is readily available and in use across many industries worldwide. With the piloting and rolling out of smart grid initiatives across India, consumers will soon benefit from more reliable power supplies, and will able to take control of their electricity consumption in a way that has hitherto been unimaginable. 
Authored by__Shiv Kaushik, Country Manager, Cyan Technologies (India)

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Empowering the Smart Consumer

Communication technology can now be used to transform the way the people consume electricity
 Technology has fundamentally changed the way that we live and interact. Today, it is possible to order food, buy clothes or hail a taxi in a number of cities across India, using just a smartphone. Public and private sector banks offer online and mobile-led transactions countrywide and rail tickets are received via SMS. Technology has given consumers unprecedented convenience and, ultimately, control over the products and services they consume.
In the telecoms sector, for example, the consumer can choose from a wide range of tariffs and take advantage of the different promotions available as part of these products. Tariffs incentivising use of SMS, voice or data mean that consumers can select the package that suits the way they communicate best, and ensure they get the best value for money. Communication technology can now be used to transform the way the people consume electricity.
According to a World Bank study, over 300 million Indians are currently living without access to power and those that do have access are frequently subject to blackouts during peak hours. Indian utilities are working with legacy infrastructure, which is incapable of supporting the power needs of India’s ever-growing population, and faces power losses due to inefficient transmission and theft.
Smart metering allows utilities to detect loss and theft and tackle these problems at the source. It also enables energy providers to monitor actual consumption and, therefore, bill consumers accurately. In clarifying and simplifying of the billing relationship between provider and consumer through smart metering, customers can receive accurate and regular bills based on their actual usage. Lower operational costs for utilities, via automated meter reading, billing and customer service, mean a reduction in energy costs for consumers and using the data generated by smart meters, utilities can provide increased reliability of supply and reduce blackouts.
Smart metering technology also offers customers the opportunity to budget their electricity spend more accurately, giving them access to real-time information on their consumption. Prepayment systems enable pay-as-you-go or prepay tariffs, in the same was as mobile phone tariffs, giving customers the advantage of knowing when their next bill will arrive. In addition, utilities can provide time-of-use tariffs to incentivise off-peak electricity usage by reducing off-peak costs. These tariffs allow consumers to choose when it is most cost-effective for them to consume energy and leads to more reliable supply overall.
Energy efficiency is of global interest. Countries around the world are deploying smart grid technologies to increase security of supply, and reduce costs as well as carbon emissions. The Indian government is focused on providing energy to all households by 2017 through smart grid technologies, and has a number of pilot projects in place across a number of regions. Cyan has worked with meter manufacturers, utilities and system integrators and is a part of many projects in India, including commercial projects for CESC in Karnataka, and commercial deployments for Tata Power Mumbai and Essel Utilities.
Cyan’s technology has been specifically developed and optimised for emerging markets, like India, and is available as both an integrated and retrofit solution. The integrated solution allows utilities to incorporate Cyan’s technology with new and replacement installations. However, many homes in India have legacy meters and for many Indian utilities, it is not viable to tear these out and replace them with new smart meters. This is the purpose of Cyan’s retrofit solution, which has been designed to provide smart metering functionality to existing static meters. Utilities can therefore ‘upgrade’ the existing infrastructure and allow customers to benefit from smart technology without the need to drive up costs to cover replacement meters.
Cyan’s communication platform enables shared advantages for both utilities and consumers, with the overall benefits of network evolutions, capacity grown, increased service quality and the ability to meet growing demand. Customers benefit from a personalised service, which enables them to better understand and manage their usage, and Time of Use tariffs enable them to cut their costs. Utilities gain increased network insight, and are better able to identify theft and losses and mitigate against them, as well as being able to proactively manage demand response. These benefits all lead to increased revenue assurance, which can then be used to upgrade and extend the country’s power infrastructure, ensuring improved reach and quality of supply for consumers.
In addition, utilities with assured revenues can enter long-term and competitive power purchase agreements to deliver uninterrupted power supply. In the long run, a utility with universal smart metering implemented will be able to deliver a high-quality electricity supply, at a reduced cost to consumers.
The technology required to enable all of these features is readily available and in use across many industries worldwide. With the piloting and rolling out of smart grid initiatives across India, consumers will soon benefit from more reliable power supplies, and will able to take control of their electricity consumption in a way that has hitherto been unimaginable. 
Authored by__Shiv Kaushik, Country Manager, Cyan Technologies (India)

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