United Energy, Multinet Gas take back IT systems

 
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Although the operational restructure of United Energy and Multinet Gas was a key driver for IT transformation, so too was the industry transition to smart metering technology in Victoria.

"We needed to respond to the quite significant changes in the industry around things like smart metering, and so these new platforms were basically required to enable that capability," Legge says.

United Energy - along with other electricity players in the state - is offering a portal that surfaces electricity usage data from the smart meters to end users, giving them insight into how and when they consume power.

"We're also looking further at means to actually bridge the gap between the utilities and the consumers and allow them to take benefits from the new technologies and the smart meters," he says.

"That's probably the next stage of the IT transformation."

Not all of the benefits of smart meter technology are known. "We're looking around the world," Legge says.

"Different markets have drawn different benefits from this technology. In some areas they've drawn a lot of benefits in terms of making the infrastructure more efficient by helping to reduce peak loads, but it's quite complicated [because] it's potentially got to be tied to behavioural changes and incentives.

"The [electricity] distributors need to work with the retailers such that there's a solution that benefits the end consumer."

Legge's aim was to stand up an IT environment that does not impede the realisation of future benefits.

"There's a lot of work initially to get everything bedded down and working reliably and the transactions all flowing, the data stored the right way," he says.

"But then we are seeing that there are going to be opportunities that are emerging in the next few years where different people use this information in different ways for the benefit of consumers."

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