DEWA shapes the future of utilities using Artificial Intelligence

  • By ; Nahla Muqalad

    Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) continues its unprecedented success in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Artificial Intelligence (AI). It adopts the latest solutions and best technologies in its internal and external operations. DEWA believes the future and its challenges require radical transformations that keep pace with the rapid developments all around the world. DEWA started AI journey since 2017 and developed a road map for AI techniques. It has initiated services and initiatives that use AI to enhance and add value to the customer, employee, and stakeholder experiences.

    HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, said that using AI at DEWA to provide smart and innovative services aligns with its strategy to achieve the Dubai 10X initiative. The initiative was launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to develop Dubai Government services, putting Dubai 10 years ahead of other global cities. It also aligns with the Smart Dubai initiative to make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world; the UAE Centennial 2071; the UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution; and Dubai Plan 2021 to make Dubai proactive and creative in meeting the needs of individuals and society.

    Al Tayer noted that in 2014, DEWA completed the smart transformation of all its services by 100%, less than a year after the Smart Dubai initiative was launched. DEWA initiated the AI Steering Committee to effectively contribute to its efforts to make Dubai a global hub for disruptive technologies and the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This achieves the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031. DEWA collaborated with Smart Dubai to apply the AI Ethics and Principles in all its projects and initiatives, and Smart Dubai AI Lab.

    Digital DEWA

    DEWA launched Digital DEWA as its digital arm, with four pillars, making DEWA the world’s first digital utility to use autonomous systems for renewable energy, storage, expansion in AI adoption, and providing digital services.

    The First Pillar - Solar Energy: This pillar includes launching advanced solar power technologies in Dubai. One of DEWA’s key projects in this regard is the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the world's largest single-site solar park, with a planned capacity of 5,000MW by 2030. The solar park supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 to produce 75% of Dubai’s total power output from clean energy sources.

    The Second Pillar - Energy Storage: Digital DEWA seeks to operate a renewable energy network using innovative energy storage technologies.

    The third revolves around Artificial Intelligence to make Dubai the first city to provide AI-based electricity and water services. In line with this, DEWA launched Rammas. Through Rammas, DEWA is expanding its use of AI to all its operations. Through this pillar, DEWA will deploy machine learning to augment customer experience, support employee services and productivity enhancement, and optimise core grid operations.

    The Fourth Pillar - Digital Services: Digital DEWA will expand its digital services through Data Hub Integrated Solutions (Moro) and its strategic vision to be the most preferred choice for the public and private sectors in the UAE and the region in terms of data storage and cloud-based digital service management. This enhances the integration of institutional operations, monitoring operations, providing the best suggestions for decision making. This pillar also includes launching Digital X and Infra X companies, owned by DEWA.

    Smart response for technical notifications of electricity and water

    The Smart Response Initiative, available in 5 languages, aims to provide customers with the needed tools to improve the availability of supply, as well as enhancing customer experience in terms of reporting electricity and water technical interruptions. It also helps resolve those interruptions through simplifying and enhancing reporting of interruptions, and to follow-up on these requests. The service enables customers to do self-diagnosis using DEWA’s smart app and increase the response rate using AI, GIS (Geographic Information Systems), Virtual Reality, and automated distribution of tasks.

    The service also reduces the number of steps to fix interruptions from 10 steps to 1. Some customers can resolve these issues on their own, and this has reduced field visits of DEWA’s technical teams to 56%. The service also saved 43% of the time needed to fix interruptions. This has increased service quality up to 93%, raising trust levels to 94%, and overall happiness with the initiative up to 96%. In case of internal interruptions, DEWA provided access to 6 private maintenance companies through DEWA Store on its smart app.

    The initiative also had positive results on the environment and customers, saving customers AED 17 million annually and 300 million gallons of water.

    High Water Usage Alert

    The High-Water Usage Alert initiative helps customers discover possible leaks in their water connections, after the meter. The system sends instant notifications to the customer if there is an unusual increase in consumption, to check the internal connections and repair any leaks with the help of a specialised technician. This contributes to reducing incurred costs by limiting water wastage. The initiative reduces the ‘Recovery Average Time’ goal of minor notifications from 3 hours to 2 hours, and the major notifications from 6 hours to 4 hours. This has enhanced the proactive alert system of smart meters.

    My Sustainable Living Programme

    The ‘My Sustainable Living Programme’ encourages customers to use electricity and water responsibly and reduce their carbon footprint. The programme is the first of its kind in the Middle East, and enables residential customers to compare their monthly electricity and water usage with the average use of similarly efficient homes and make informed decisions based on current data, with other highly efficient homes. This inspires healthy competition among customers to reduce their consumption.

    Rammas

    Rammas, DEWA’s virtual employee, uses AI to assist customers and answer their enquiries in both Arabic and English, through 7 channels for customer service. These include DEWA’s smart app (iOS and Android), DEWA’s website and social media account on Facebook, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant, robots, and WhatsApp Business. 10 robots have been dedicated to customer service at the Future and Customer Happiness Centres. These provide a wide range of services, such as enquiries, paying bills, moving to a new place, and providing information on Customer Happiness Centres among other FAQs.

    Rammas is able to learn and process customers’ needs, analyse and evaluate as per given data, and respond accurately to facilitate transactions. Since its inception in Q1 of 2017, Rammas has responded to over three million customer queries on 284 topics. This saved more than AED 36 million.

    Smart adoption of DEWA’s services reached 93.3%

    DEWA is one of the first government organisations to provide all its services through smart channels. Smart adoption of DEWA’s services reached 93.3% in 2019. DEWA provides all its services around the clock through several channels and smart platforms, as per the highest standards of availability, reliability, and efficiency. DEWA provides all its services through its website and smart app.

    Future Customer Happiness Centres

    DEWA launched Future Customer Happiness Centres in late 2017. It is one of the first organisations to launch this kind of centre to provide a creative model of digital services through smart apps, AI, and robots. These centres use the latest innovative technologies that achieve customer happiness and exceeds their expectations. These technologies include smart, self-service platforms that help customers complete their transactions with ease and without paper; Rammas; Tayseer, the smart collection platform to pay pills through smart apps; remote support through a live chat with a robot; and a future services section to engage customers in shaping and developing DEWA’s services according to best practices and international standards.

    Data Security Centre

    The data security centre strives to limit potential electronic risks by monitoring services and technical assets of DEWA proactively. Using AI, the centre uses different techniques, through which it can verify security risks, reduce the time needed to resolve them, and enable data to detect and limit security threats.

     

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