As we build on our gas and electricity smart meter installations through our metering and data partner, SMS, our Metering and Billing Operations team recently had the opportunity to tour SMS’s National Training Academy in Bolton.

Metering Improvement Analyst, Mark Newman at Verastar, said: “After dealing with smart metering from a distance for so long, it was insightful to see how SMS Metering operates day-to-day.

Sometimes we work in a bubble trying to resolve smart issues remotely, so it was good to talk to people who have vast experience in this area and who can offer valuable insights and resolutions first-hand.

We hope to build effective working relationships with the Bolton team moving forward, so that we can increase our successful installations and bring any issues to a swift resolution.”

The tour of the SMS Training Academy showcased:

  • how smart meters are fitted within a customer’s property
  • what an SMS engineer has to do to set the customer up
  • insights on back end technical know-how that will help us expand our knowledge of smart meters’ role in energy saving and other smart technologies
  • our journey to improve our customer billing accuracy and read performance.

 

Sant Singh, SMETS2 Product Owner at SMS, said:

“Our Bolton academy, where the specialist SMETS2 team is based, is a fantastic location to showcase our technical capabilities around smart meters and the role the team plays in enabling efficiencies, savings and innovative new products for consumers and businesses.

This is something I know that is particularly important to Verastar and the services that they deliver to their own customers, so it was brilliant to demonstrate to them our processes and expertise in this area.

We look forward to building our close working relationship with Verastar going forward, working with them through our end-to-end metering solutions, helping them overcome challenges, and delivering the benefits of smart meters to their small business customers across the country.”

We also invited SMS to participate in our recent Operations Q1 update at Lancashire Cricket Ground. This is where we highlighted our Q1 performance across the operations departments, the benefits of Project Sirius and Project Aquarius, as well as providing an insight into the Learning and Development’s ‘Learn Island’ Roadshow.

SMS demonstrated both their gas and electricity smart meters and explained the customer journey, including how they set the meter up to enable us to communicate with the meter to receive reads. As well as providing us the opportunity to get directly involved with installing a smart meter on the wall.

A big thank you to SMS for their involvement in both events – a very insightful couple of days for the team as we move towards our installation target of 4,000 installs by end of 2022.

Head of Metering and Billing Operations, Gary Hart said:

“There’s a real buzz about the place as we truly start on our ‘smart journey’ here at Verastar. The enthusiasm from the whole department to increase their knowledge has been infectious. There is now a real understanding of the customer journey – not only of the installation, but the onward benefits smart metering gives to our customers.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the SMS team for their support in hosting us at Bolton and accommodating us at our Operations Department Off-Site Roadshow, where the wider department got the opportunity to get up close to smart meters and talk to metering technicians.”