Itron Acquires Silver Spring Networks

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Itron Acquires Silver Spring Networks

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Smart Grid Data Analytics


Generate actionable insight to drive efficiencies, improve reliability and enhance quality of service

Capture the business value of the massive amounts of new data available to your organization. The Silver Spring Platform unlocks data for a wide range of analytics applications, enabling utilities to improve operations and increase customer engagement.

Silver Spring’s Analytics solutions are purpose built for the utility industry and provide out-of-the-box value by solving real world use cases, including revenue assurance, meter-transformer connectivity mapping, meter temperature management, vegetation management, rapid telemetry demand response and more. When these applications are deployed with the Silver Spring Data Platform (SDP) and Control Platform, you can unlock real-time and historical data from internal and external sources to improve the accuracy and speed of decision making in your organization. SDP also enables an open ecosystem of applications built by Silver Spring, partners and within your utility, providing a simple and secure way to share data through standard APIs.

The continuous connectivity enabled by the smart grid changes the playing field. Yet – until now – harnessing the power of smart grid data has proved elusive for most utilities because they lack the ability to quickly and seamlessly route real time data across the infrastructure to any application in need. Silver Spring’s integrated analytics solution is the key to capturing the full potential of your connected intelligent devices, supporting a variety of use cases to help you get the most value from your smart grid today. Learn more about the benefits of these use cases in our ebook.

Revenue Assurance

Minimizing electricity losses is a significant challenge for utilities, but it also presents a massive opportunity for savings. New data from smart meters and other devices can indicate suspicious usage patterns, energy diversions, tamper conditions, and voltage anomalies that help pinpoint and resolve the exact cause of energy and water that’s distributed but isn’t paid for. However, many revenue assurance solutions—whether built by third parties or a utility’s internal team—can result in slow, time-consuming and manual processes filled with false positives and unnecessary truck rolls.

Revenue assurance is now more accurate, faster and more efficient than ever before thanks to the advances in networking, data analytics and data management enabled by the Silver Spring Data Platform and the Operations Optimizer application.

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Rapid Telemetry Demand Response

Many demand response measurement and verification solutions (DRMS) require slow, time-consuming and manual processes to evaluate the results of events and programs—roadblocks that prevent your utility from refining programs until weeks or months after a DR event. Accessing real-time smart grid data enables you to more quickly and accurately hit DR targets by adjusting controls in the DRMS immediately following an event—based on insights produced over the course of minutes rather than weeks. While the typical lack of real-time visibility limits the impact of DR, it also prevents your utility from leveraging demand-side assets to address reliability problems, whether caused by transmission-line faults or an abundance of distributed renewable energy resources.

The real-time capabilities enabled by the Silver Spring Network Platform are key to our Rapid Telemetry Demand Response solution. In conjunction with the Data Platform and Control Platform, Rapid Telemetry enables you to monitor the impact of load reductions in real time and utilize DR for ancillary services such as contingency reserves, frequency regulation and load following. Rapid Telemetry DR also improves the accuracy of forecasts with high resolution data on energy consumption and device-connectivity status on a continuous basis. While most solutions require new hardware to support the advanced capabilities required to support distributed energy resource (DER) integration, our Rapid Telemetry DR solution leverages an open standards approach and existing assets on the network to enable cost-effective, high-performance DER applications.

Meter-Transformer Mapping

The accuracy of a utility’s meter-to-transformer connectivity model is crucial for maintenance planning, outage management and outage communications. Inaccurate meter-to-transformer data results in slower outage restorations and poor communication with your customers, both of which can quickly erode customer confidence. It is estimated that between 5% and 20% of meter-to-transformer data is incorrect in utilities’ systems of record. Most utilities still rely on manual, trial-and-error methods to fix errors in their connectivity models, but these methods are time-consuming and expensive. The required field services alone can cost as much as $5 per meter, and with millions of endpoints and the potential for recurring errors, costs can quickly mount.

Don’t let errors in your meter-to-transformer connectivity model lead to lost revenue and customer dissatisfaction. Operations Optimizer allows you to harness the power of Big Data to improve grid operations, protect your revenue, and communicate more accurately and confidently with your customers.

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Meter-Temperature Management

Meter temperature anomalies can be an indication of brownouts, power quality issues and fires. These result in customer backlash over smart meters, and utilities are being held liable for costly damages to utility and customer property.

Utilities are now under increased pressure to detect rising meter temperatures and use that data to predict fires and damage to customer premises. However, the approaches that many utilities take today aren’t comprehensive and don’t effectively use temperature sensors that are inside the majority of smart meters. Typical methods of reducing fire risk include manual inspections and asking vendors to take photos after installation to ensure work was done correctly. But, the most cost-effective and timely solution is to continuously monitor meter temperatures remotely via the smart grid.

Silver Spring’s Operations Optimizer application can monitor the temperatures of millions of meters to proactively identify and act on those that are too hot. Real-time tools help your utility optimize use of field crews through remote identification of failed and defective meters and remote resolution of customer complaints.

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Customer Engagement

In the age of the continuously connected consumer, customers look to their utilities to serve as trusted energy advisors. Utilities today are disjointed with complex utility-customer relationships thanks to HAN devices, solar installations and electric vehicles. Outdated energy usage data is presented in ways that doesn’t resonate well with consumers. Inaccurate budgeting tools calculate bill forecasts and hourly estimates based on average and marginal rates. And, unexpected high bills can surprise customers and lead to customer dissatisfaction which in turn leads to a high volume of complaint phone calls.

A better approach focuses on building closer customer relationships by displaying information about energy use, solar generation, and DR and energy efficiency programs. If you empower your customers to manage energy spending with precise forecasting and budgeting tools, it will lead to more satisfied customers, which will in turn reduce time for your call center to resolve issues.

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