Electricity company automates case handling

Lyse Elnett will soon be adopting an automated digging notice system, which will save heavy case handling costs for the electricity company and a lot of time and frustration for contractors. 

So says Eivind Aasland from Lyse Elnett, who is spearheading the development of the digging notice service together with the software company Powel.

“We have run this development project for two main reasons. We want to streamline our own case handling, to move from manual to automatic processing. And we want to make it easier for contractors to direct an inquiry to us and get an answer right away,” says Aasland.  

Here you can see the PDFs emailed to the contractor minutes after the digging notice was sent. The document is created and sent automatically, and shows the dig area that the contractor has just drawn in. Photo: Screenshot from the system

5,500 digging notices a year

Lyse Elnett receives an average of 5,500 digging notice each year. To answer these, two people are employed full-time. Sometimes it takes time for the electricity company to respond, which creates frustration for the digging contractors.

“The aim is that 70 to 80 percent of the inquiries should be answered automatically. That means that they get an answer to their digging notice within a few minutes,” he says.

The start-up meeting between Lyse and Powel took place in January of this year, and since then development of the Powel digging notice system has progressed in stages. The electricity company is now a few weeks away from the launch date. 

The digging notice centre at Lyse is now staffed by two administrators, Anne Grethe Egeberg (L) and Marianne Mediaa Fløysvik. Here we see them together with the team leader for digging notices at Lyse Elnett, Eivind Aasland. 

“We are very eager to get started. It’s been ten years since we first talked about automating our work processes. Now we are just millimetres from launching. We are very excited,” says Aasland, who is ready to start training the users.

“We will be inviting users to our offices so that we can teach them how to use the digging notice system,” he says.

Contractors want quick answers

Aasland explains that the people sending in the digging notice are often the same ones out in the field digging. The digging notices are sometimes sent in when they are practically on their way out with the digger, and quick answers will help a lot. 

“The information that we receive in our system will also be more accurate. Now, for example, a contractor can tell us over the phone where they are going to dig. With the digging notice they will have to enter the information on the map themselves. This will improve the accuracy. If there should be a break in a high-voltage cable, it will be easier for us to find out where the fault occurred,” he says. 

Hope many people will start using Powel digging notices  

Lyse Elnett is the first to adopt Powel digging notices in Norway, but Powel has around 15 customers using a similar solution in Denmark. Norwegian electricity companies are under great pressure to streamline their operations, and Powel strongly believes that digging notices will be adopted by many electricity companies over time. 

This picture was taken when Powel and Lyse held a workshop in February, to plan the functionality and layout. From left to right: Eivind Aasland (Lyse Elnett), Jesper Krogh-Sørensen (Powel), Anders Hansen (Powel). Anders and Jesper have developed and configured the solution for Lyse.

“All electricity companies want to streamline their work processes and Powel’s digging notice is one of several products we offer to help them meet this challenge. We are looking forward very much to Lyse starting to use the solution and we expect it to be adopted by more electricity companies in due course. There is no good reason not to,” smiles Powel’s sales director, Richard Schytte.