7 lessons from San Diego Gas and Electric's smart meter rollout

Fierce Smart Grid

October 16, 2020

By Barbara Vergetis Lundin

SDG&E is a good example of how systems thinking and an open attitude can help utilities innovate, learn, and view smart meter rollouts as opportunities to proactively reach out to their entire customer base. The Association for Demand Response & Smart Grid (ADS) has released a case study demonstrating how San Diego Gas & Electric's (SDG&E) smart meter deployment and community outreach has affected its traditional business processes and how it involved customers and stakeholders to co-design new products, programs, and systems.

"This case study highlights the way that a traditional, investor-owned utility, can still find ways to be a creative learning organization by working with its customers and community stakeholders in designing its programs and products," said Dan Delurey, ADS Executive Director.

Other utilities, regardless of size or governance structure, can take note of the lessons learned by SDG&E and apply them to their own operations:

  •     Cultural shifts take time and commitment from leadership and managers throughout the organization.
  •     Transparency and accountability are critical to effective collaboration.
  •     If customers, stakeholders, and interveners are partners in the creation process, they have a vested 
        interest in the successful outcome of new programs and practices.
  •     Prototyping and rapid development models work successfully with a structured collaborative
        framework, even in regulated environments.
  •     Working with trusted community-based partners allows utilities to proactively anticipate the changing
        requirements and concerns of evolving communities while communicating more effectively.
  •     Deployment of smart meters can provide a focal point to connect with every customer in a positive
        and proactive way.
  •     A learning mindset is effective when applied to technical, IT, and operational projects as well as
        customer outreach.       

For more:
- see the case study


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