Utilities Process Workflow

Utilities Business Process Definitions & Templates

  • Workflow Template / Utilities

    Capital Budgeting & Reporting (Utilities)
    The Capital Budgeting & Reporting process involves coordination between project accountants/coordinators, project managers/leads and senior management to develop and annual budgets used to manage electric and natural gas utilities projects. Accountants and project leads jointly develop the initial budget based on current projects and expected cash flows. That budget is then sent to senior management for approval. If the budget is approved, it is uploaded into the appropriate systems for use in project reporting and analysis. Budget reports are published on a monthly basis and are used to measure planned versus actual spending. If there is a major variance, a meeting between senior management and project leads is typically held to address any potential issues.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities / Transmission & Delivery

    Electric & Gas Distribution Operations
    The Electric & Gas Distribution process involves coordination between engineers, field technicians, distribution operations team members and programmers to design, test and develop new electric and/or natural gas energy distribution systems. Engineers design and submit the initial designs for distribution systems. These designs are then digitized and tested by field technicians and programmers, who communicate design issues to the engineer for repair. After the system has been tested thoroughly, field technicians configure and activate the system for use in distribution.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities / Transmission & Delivery

    Electric Substation Design & Construction
    The Electric Substation Design & Construction process involves coordination between industrial engineers and designers, procurement team members, construction employees (sometimes third-party contracters) and electric substation managers to design, construct and test electric substations. Electric substations are facilities used by utilities providers to distribute electricity to consumers. Substations control the voltage of incoming electricity - they can increase or decrease the voltage as-needed. After the design of the substation has been approved, materials are procured and construction begins. After the construction has been completed, a series of tests are performed to ensure that the substation is functioning as intended.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities

    Federal Utilities Projects
    Federal Utilities Projects refers to a set of processes related to fulfilling utilities (electricity, natural gas, etc.) efficiency projects for federal, or government, agencies. This project begins with a dialogue between federal representatives and utilities company sales staff, or business development executives - these parties work to scope the project and agree on a clearly defined statement of work (SOW). Once the SOW is in place, the project details are sent to technicians, vendors, and/or contractors who will be responsible for fulfilling the project.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities / Utilities Customer Service

    Power Outage Management & Resolution
    The Power Outage Management & Resolution process involves customer communications and field activities related to both planned and unplanned power outages for utilites companies. For planned outages, customer service/call center team members are notified by other utilities company employees that an outage has been planned. Customer service staff members then work to develop a communication strategy to notify affected customers that there will be an outage and educate them on the details of the planned outage (e.g., reason, duration, etc.). For unplanned outages, customer service team members field calls from customers regarding the outage. If the outage is not already being addressed, other individuals within the company must be contacted to research and provide details on the outage so that the customer service team can provide customers with accurate information as to why their power is out, when it will be restored, etc.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities / Production & Generation

    Refinery Valuation & Tax Operations
    The Refinery Valuation & Tax Operations process involves coordination between accountants, facility management personnel, corporate tax management staff and tax authorities to accurately value individual refineries in preparation for annual property tax payments. There are multiple methods that can be used to perform refinery valuations, including cost-based approach, income approach and sales comparison approach. The tax assessor typically dictates which method should be used. After the valuation has been completed, validated and reviewed internally, a negotiation with the tax assessor begins to determine the exact tax value of the refinery. Once that value has been determined, property tax filings are prepared by the company and submitted to the appropriate authorities.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities / Utilities Customer Service

    Utilities Customer Programs
    The Utilities Customer Programs process deals with the development, marketing, implementation and ongoing testing of energy efficiency and savings programs for utilities (electric, natural gas) customers. Initially, utilities companies work with regulators to develop the details of the program and ensure that it meets certain compliance/regulatory-related guidelines. After the program has been approved by both sides, utilities companies, as well as third-party energy retailers, market the programs to customers. After the program has been implemented, ongoing testing is performed to ensure that the program is achieving the desired results.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities

    Utilities Customer Project Coordination
    The Utilities Customer Project Coordination process involves coordination between commercial utilities customers, customer service staff, project coordinators, contractors and utilities field technicians to design, schedule and fulfill projects related to energy efficiency programs. Customers and project coordinators first outline the potential project by discussing current pain points and gathering feedbkac on project ideas. Additional customers are then contacted to gague interest and gather additional feedback and information regarding energy efficiency issues. Customers that choose to move forward with an energy efficiency project are contacted by engineering teams and contractors to complete the project.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities / Utilities Customer Service

    Utilities Emergency Work Orders
    The Utilities Emergency Work Orders process is designed to field, identify and quickly resolve emergenices for utilities customers. Common emergencies related to utilities services include gas leaks, water main breaks, electricity outages at medical facilities, etc. This process begins with a call from a customer to a utilities customer service center. If the issue is deemed to be an emergency, the work order is added to the system and a technician is immediately notified that an emergency work order has been added to their queue. The technician then drives to the site of the emergency to resolve the issue. In the case of a severe gas leak, the technician must wait for a gas leak crew to arrive on site before moving onto the next job.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities / Transmission & Delivery

    Utilities Facility Engineering & Design
    The Facility Engineering & Design process involves coordination between engineers and designers, compliance/legal team members, construction staff (in-house or contracted) and regulatory officials to design utilities facilities, such as electric substations or generation facilities. These facilities must adhere to certain regulatory guidelines, so compliance and legal team members typically work with the project lead(s) to prepare the required information for regulatory bodies. If the design of the facility meets both internal (budget) and external (state/federal regulations) requirements, construction materials are procured and preparation for construction begins.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities / Production & Generation

    Utilities Facility Maintenance
    Utilities Facility Maintenance refers to a set of processes designed to ensure that energy production facilities are running in a safe, efficient manner. This process involves coordination between facility maintenance and operations staff, as well as engineers and compliance team members. Facility work orders are received by operations team members who then prioritize those work orders and submit them into a queue that can be used by facility maintenance personnel to perform maintenance tasks. Work orders are then pulled from the queue and completed. Any details related to the work order are logged into the work order management system.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities / Utilities Customer Service

    Utilities Field Operations
    Utilities Field Operations refers to a set of connected proceses designed to fulfill requests from utilities customers. The process is triggered by a call from a utilities customer, usually accepted in a call center by a utilities customer service representative, or call center agent. The agent enters the details of the request into a customer service system. Field technician dispatchers will then inspect the log of all customer requests, or work orders, and schedule them for completion based on severity and order of receipt. Field operations supervisors/managers then pass these pre-scheduled work orders out to their team of field technicians. Field technicians receive the and fulfill the work orders on a daily basis, updating the system when a job has been completed, or when a job must be delayed due to various issues (customer not home, etc.).
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities / Transmission & Delivery

    Utilities Inspection & Compliance
    The Utilities Inspection & Reporting process involves coordination between compliance staff, field technicians, field operations managers and regulatory bodies to ensure that all company electric generation and transmission facilities are in compliance with regulatory standards. Compliance team members communicate with state regulators to develop inspection schedules and criteria. Field operations managers and dispatchers then schedule inspections for field technicians to complete. Field technicians then perform the inspections, reporting and completing any repairs needed to bring the facility up to code. In some cases, follow-up jobs will be required to inspect facilities after repairs have been completed.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities

    Utilities Operations & Maintenance Budgeting
    The Utilities Operations & Maintenance (O&M) Budgeting process involves coordination between accountants, utilities project managers, or leads, and senior business executives to develop, analyze, approve and monitor O&M budgets. Accounting team members and senior executives collaborate to produce the initial annual budget. Once thie annual budget has been refined and approved, it is use to develop various monthly budgetary reporting and analysis tools, including dashboards that are visible to various units throughout the company. When significant deviations from the planned budget are identified in these reports, company project management and finance team members hold meeting to determine why the variance exists, and to outline potential solutions.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities / Transmission & Delivery

    Utilities Smart Meter Operations
    Utilities Smart Meter Operations refers to a set of connected proceses designed to monitor, test and improve the overall health of utilities company smart meter networks. "Smart" meters are network-connected devlces that measure energy consumption for utilities customers and allow utilities team members to monitor the incoming consumption data remotely (rather than having a field technician travel to the meter location and check it manually). Smart Meter Operations processes include the investigation and resolution of smart meter errors, the quarterly analysis of smart meter network performance, and adjustments to smart meter network configurations and applications.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities / Transmission & Delivery

    Utilities Smart Meter Testing & Repair
    Utilities Smart Meter Testing & Repair refers to a set of processes aimed at ensuring that smart meters used to measure utilities customer energy consumption are working correctly. "Smart" meters are network-connected devices that measure energy consumption for utilities customers and allow utilities team members to monitor the incoming consumption data remotely (rather than having a field technician travel to the meter location and check it manually). Prior to field installation, smart meters are tested in the company shops to ensure that they are calibrated correctly - they must pass a series of test before they are deployed. When a smart meter fails in the field, it is brought into a central shop for testing and repair. Field technicians, engineers and, in some cases, company vendors, coordinate to complete these processes.
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  • Workflow Template / Utilities / Transmission & Delivery

    Utilities Vegetation Management
    The Utilities Vegetation Management process involves coordination between internal vegetation management team members, third-party (external) contractors/vendors and in-house legal team members to manage the ongoing maintenance of tree and plant life that surrounds the company's network of energy transmission lines and facilities. Vegetation management team members periodically inspect tree/plant life to ensure that it is properly maintained. When maintenance is required, third-party contractors/vendors are assigned a work area to perform tree trimming and brushing as-needed.
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