Municipal utilities are feeling increasing pressure to control costs and enhance asset value. Analytics is viewed a significant potential contributor to these goals. By combining the power of TEA Connected Analytics with the Connected Grid platform, tangible benefits for the municipal utility sector were proven, positively impacting day-to-day operations and annual costs for JEA.
TEA help their public power clients to thrive in the new data-driven world by offering a broad array of robust, insightful data analysis solutions and delivering high quality customer-focused services while controlling costs.
Recently TEA introduced a new service, TEA Connected Analytics, to help its utility clients maximize the value of their assets by reducing operating costs, lowering capital expenditures and improving their retail customer satisfaction. TEA Connected Analytics operates on the eSmart Systems Connected Grid "Software as a Service" platform, which uses the cloud-based Microsoft Azure system.
"Yes, we are known for our Analytics capabilities in the wholesale energy markets. More importantly, we have a great relationship of trust with our over 50 municipal utility customers. We were looking for someone who could bring a rich tool set and Analytics capabilities. Just as important, we wanted someone who could be a strategic partner to honor the trusted relationship we have with our members and customers. eSmart Systems was the partner for that. In addition, eSmart Systems’ extensive experience in working with European municipal utilities who are facing retail competition and the advent of distributed resources faster than we are in the US, brought us an additional benefit",
Tom Harvey, CIO of The Energy Authority
A Proof of Concept was initiated to test the TEA Connected Analytics service on eSmart Systems’ Connected Grid platform. The defined pilot was to find a more effective way to identify broken water meters. Eliminating wasted truck rolls would save JEA a lot of money.
As part of its annual planning processes, JEA had set an internal operational goal in 2016 of reducing unnecessary truck rolls to less than 20%. JEA gave TEA and eSmart Systems this operating goal as the success criterion for the pilot. With the help of JEA's Analytics and Operating staff, TEA and eSmart Systems’ data scientists developed a Machine Learning tool to more accurately predict which meters are broken. The machine algorithm was then field tested. The results – only 15% of the truck rolls were wasted. TEA and eSmart Systems exceeded the success criterion defined by JEA. In addition, JEA found additional benefits such as discovering broken water meters sooner and thereby saving lost revenues. All told, JEA calculated an annual savings in excess of $500,000. Further, by using the Connected Grid platform, JEA could more easily integrate this into the daily operations of the water meter staff and the dispatching of water service trucks.
JEA and TEA underwent a very rigorous process for evaluating and documenting the real value of this project. They quantified three types of benefits:
JEA and TEA also identified less quantifiable benefits of:
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"eSmart Systems has been an excellent partner," says TEA CIO Tom Harvey. "Not only has eSmart Systems brought a rich tool kit, but they have an approach to implementing projects that is very compatible with ours. They also have provided great support. Finally, we like who they are as a company -- their corporate culture and the way they value trusted relationships."
"We have enough confidence in eSmart as a strategic partner that we are developing a joint marketing plan to expand TEA's Connected Analytics -- and the eSmart Connected Grid. We now have two more projects and expect that to quickly grow", concludes Jamie Mahne, Chief Client Officer - TEA
"We were looking for a technology partner who understands public power, has the capacity to quickly and efficiently analyze Big Data to support these services,and has a desire to grow with us. eSMart Systems fits that role."
Joanie Teofilo, CEO at TEA
The Energy Authority (TEA), a service company owned by eight municipal utilities, provides services to over 50 municipal utilities. TEA provides access to advanced resources and technology systems so that they can respond competitively in the changing energy markets. Through partnership with TEA, municipal utilities benefit from an experienced organization singularly focused on deriving maximum value from their assets. TEA's members and customers own 30 000 MW of generation and serve retail customers with over 24 000 MW of peak demand.
JEA (The Jacksonville Electric Authority), one of TEA's owners and founding members, is one of the largest US municipal electric and water utilities, serving 455 000 electric, 337 000 water and 261 000 sewer customers in the greater Jacksonville, FL area.
JEA's mission is to Energize our community through high-value energy and water solutions
Their vision is to be A premier service provider, valued asset and vital partner in advancing our community.
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