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How to bring the costumers to cooperate with utilities on smart grid implementations

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3 Author(s)

Most Utilities in Latin America are studying how to implement smart grid technologies, as recent developments in Europe and North America have disclosed many benefits for the utilities and society, but costumer advocates are still struggling about the real benefits of these implementations. In Latin America most utilities are greatly envisioning possible benefits on losses reduction, as the average total losses are around 17% in the region, much higher when compared with North America or Europe. In this case, potential conflicts with targeted clients will be even stronger, as large part of these clients will have proportionally more expensive bills to pay as a result of smart grid implementations. ENERSUL is the energy delivery company of Mato Grosso do Sul State of Brazil, with a very challenging, low load density and large concession area (just 830 thousand connections inside 328 thousand square kilometers- similar size of Germany), that has overall losses of almost 24%, being the estimated technical losses around 14% and the commercial losses being responsible for the balance, around 10%. ENERSUL has started deploying electronic metering four years ago, to 1,500 high consumption residential costumers living at the State Capital Campo Grande, and learned from that experince that just technology will not be enough to face the targeted and necessary losses reduction for sustainable economic operation on the long run. It is necessary a sociological approach changing society's perception about energy availability and losses overall costs and outcomes, to easy and facilitate technology based programs implementations. The paper will present ENERSUL's experience with smart metering implementations and the current process under development at ENERSUL, aiming at developing specific actions focused on social and economic aspects and society's perception over the opportunities and benefits of the new technologies, before the massive implementation and full roll out.

Published in:

Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT), 2012 IEEE PES

Date of Conference:

16-20 Jan. 2012