[UC29] Non-Technical Loss Investigation Management
Creating a methodology for an effective loss reduction programme by implementing a system that performs multiple functions related to the management and performance of non-technical loss investigations.
The Utility Problem
Almost every utility is involved in reducing non-technical losses – more or less successfully. However, finding the ideal way to achieve the best results takes a lot of work. Some utilities are just starting loss reduction projects. If the utility still needs procedures to reduce non-technical losses, it can be challenging to deliver new processes without prior experience. Developing a methodology can take years, during which many problems can arise, but these can be eliminated by implementing already established and tested methods.
In creating a methodology for an effective loss reduction programme, it is necessary to implement a system that should perform multiple functions related to the management and performance of non-technical loss investigations. These functions are primarily:
- Planning is primarily a systematic prioritization of whether to investigate a given area or location. Decisions can be based on a “tip” or can be based on a risk analysis where possible risks of non-technical losses are calculated and evaluated.
- Analysis and evaluation – For the successful and correct conclusion of the investigations, it is necessary to have proper investigation analysis and evaluation tools. It is required to see the data in context (the correct interpretation of the data in space, in context with temperature, other grid elements, and time series). This increases the possibilities of exploring and testing the results for correctly identifying non-technical losses.
- Case management – is vital because of the systematic approach when it is necessary to investigate an area divided into smaller parts. Case management also allows multiple activities to be combined into a single unit, which is beneficial for evaluating and reporting non-technical losses.
- Information exchange and audit trail – investigators should be able to add their thoughts and other information to the investigations. These are often added as images or comments.
- Archiving & record keeping – are essential, especially for providing the information in court hearings.
- Reporting – reporting enables utilities to compare the performance of the non-technical loss reduction program with expectations and other programs.
Reducing losses is very important for the company’s profits. Losses have to be purchased at a specific price or market price. Therefore, the company’s profits are reduced. If losses are reduced, the company’s profits increase, and saved resources can be invested elsewhere.
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