Korea’s power supplier turns focus to customers

Interview with Seung-Ho Yang, General Manager, Head of Metering Department, Korea Electric Power Corporation.

Traditional power suppliers have not been paying attention to customers’ needs, believes Seung-Ho Yang, General Manager, Head of Metering Department, Korea Electric Power Corporation. GovInsider caught up with him to find out how the Korea’s power supplier is adapting to meet changing customer demands. 1. What is the greatest challenge that you have faced? Conventional smart meters have focused on services for power suppliers such as tariff scheme adjustment and demand management, and not on customers. That is the reason why customers have not given preference to smart meters. With the convergence of ICT and metering technology, it is possible to provide various innovative services beneficial to customers. KEPCO has been developing ‘The 3rd generation Smart Meter’, considering diverse power consumption patterns and future business needs. We have been developing this for the last two years, and will implement a pilot project in 2017. 2. What is the greatest achievement that you had in the past 2 years? Smart meter technology has been continuously developed with advancement of smart-grid and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) projects. KEPCO first introduced electronic meters for power demand management in the 1990's, and after that KEPCO has diversified the functions of electronic meters such as bi-directional metering and power quality management. KEPCO has tested a number of ways to develop AMI systems. We use four types of smart meters depending on the scale of use by customers. We have a plan to upgrade communications to LTE for customers who use higher voltage. We have an AMI operations system to maximise the use of data from smart meters to provide various services to customers. 3. What is your priority for the next year? We are looking to implement Smart Grid projects. The Smart Grid is essentially the modernisation of the transmission and distribution aspects of the electrical grid. Functionally, it is an automated electric power system that monitors and controls grid activities, ensuring the efficient and reliable two-way flow of electricity and information between power plants and consumers - and all other points in between. Smart meter systems are an integral part of the Smart Grid infrastructure in data collection and communications. For successful smart meter projects, metering service operations are important for project planning, deployment and maintenance of the systems. Their contributions is required and fundamental to the project success. We will develop business and technical requirements, and a maintenance model to support the new systems. Register now for Asian Utility Week 2017 Image by Mario Sánchez Prada, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0