Smart Metering and how it affects future field engineers
Life is busy at ClickSoftware, so I have not blogged for quite some time now but I have given in under the pressure to write something new! Well, when I say ‘write’ something, what I really mean is ‘borrow’ someone else’s thoughts. And for a good reason too. Let me explain.
For quite some time now, the subjects of the ‘smart grid’ and ‘smart metering’ have been muttered and how they will transform our lives by giving consumers more guidance on our energy consumption and patterns, and help to change our behaviour. There will also be no need to send meter readers to our homes anymore again helping the environment by reducing carbon emissions. And in May 2009, the British Government announced plans for every home in Britain to be equipped with smart meters by the end of 2020. A massive project – 26 million electricity, and 22 million gas meters need installing costing over £7bn…and we’re all very excited about it. Well, maybe.
But no-one seems to be thinking ahead much about how the face of field engineering could change in this new high tech environment. That is, until now. In his article “Future Workforce: Meeting the Demands of Tomorrow’s Utility” on the Energy Pulse website, Ryan Cook discusses this very point. Imagine this, today if we have issues with, let’s say, our gas meter then the field engineering challenge is somewhat straightforward as a gas qualified engineer with current accreditations will attend to the problem. But what about the future? It could be a network problem that requires a different type of engineer to attend. Who would have imagined that this could actually be an IT challenge and not a gas one? Interesting and thought provoking stuff so it’s worth a read…which is why I didn’t ‘write’ something new here!
So, while utility organizations are now mobilizing themselves for the national roll-out of smart metering and the associated technologies in Britain and other countries, now is the time to start planning ahead for the field engineering workforce of the future. Installing smart meters is just the beginning.