Settings for your viewing comfort
Close settings

Case Study London Hydro

London, Ontario
Government

Accessible usage data encourages energy conservation

The combination of a greater global awareness of energy consumption, coupled with Ontario's Smart Meter initiative, provided a unique opportunity for Local Distribution Companies to engage customers in their energy utilization in a way never before possible. To take advantage of this opportunity, London Hydro retained FD Solutions to build and integrate a leading-edge customer engagement solution, and supplement the utility's plans by differentiating its offerings from other utility companies and enhancing them to increase customer adoption. This included:

  • a modern, engaging presentment solution for both web browser and mobile technologies;
  • tools to promote an energy conservation mindset and help the customer reduce energy usage;
  • an offering that helps shift customer behaviour to self-service options; and
  • an extensible platform that meets London Hydro's current and future needs.

Read Details

Challenge accepted

To develop the next stage of London Hydro's strategic plan for enhanced customer engagement with access to more up-to-date user information in a self-service portal.

Solution delivered

A single-page application providing a fluid user experience for both web browser and mobile technologies to engage customers to take control of their hydro and water usage, billing cycles, profile management, and historical information.

Technologies

  • Java EE
  • Google App Engine
  • Google Compute Engine
  • Hippo CMS
  • OAuth 2
  • Google Guice and Memcache
  • JBoss RESTEasy JAX-RS 2.0
  • Google AngularJS
  • jQuery
  • Java EE
  • Google App Engine
  • Google Compute Engine
  • Hippo CMS
  • OAuth 2
  • Google Guice and Memcache
  • JBoss RESTEasy JAX-RS 2.0
  • Google AngularJS
  • jQuery
  • Java EE
  • Google App Engine
  • Google Compute Engine
  • Hippo CMS
  • OAuth 2
  • Google Guice and Memcache
  • JBoss RESTEasy JAX-RS 2.0
  • Google AngularJS
  • jQuery
  • Java EE
  • Google App Engine
  • Google Compute Engine
  • Hippo CMS
  • OAuth 2
  • Google Guice and Memcache
  • JBoss RESTEasy JAX-RS 2.0
  • Google AngularJS
  • jQuery

Benefits of deliverable

The site is capable of supporting heavy loads through a scaling out strategy totally managed by Google, offering a highly responsive experience for end users.

REST architectural approach reduces interaction latency between clients and servers.

Single Page App provides a more fluid user experience akin to a desktop application.

Google App Engine provides automatic scaling and load balancing.

A much more engaging and visually pleasing customer experience.

Solution details

FD developed all web services required to support both the interactive corporate content site and the user portal. These web services were developed in Java using Hippo CMS deployed through the cloud using Google's App Engine and Compute Engine systems. London Hydro's Customer Engagement project was conceived as a rebuild of their public corporate web content, and a new customer account complete with energy usage. The website was designed to be simple to navigate with all information available within two clicks, with the goal of providing a more fluid user experience through a web-responsive design.

The app retrieves all necessary code, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript with a single page load purely managed by Hippo CMS with user-specific account data being loaded and added to the page as necessary using dynamic web service calls within a scalable Google cloud environment. The page does not reload at any point in the process, nor does control transfer to another page.

London Hydro screenshot of homepage

FD's device-agnostic and responsive design allows for a rich intuitive experience on any desktop or mobile device. The website supports visually appealing displays of its data on mobile devices, as well as other form factors. The HTML, combined with CSS, senses the device size (and capabilities) in order to choose the correct display format for the content.

In addition to direct web services, integration was completed with a number of back end systems to retrieve outage information, notification messaging, and electrical usage details from third party servers.

London Hydro screenshot of a graph displaying hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly energy use, as well as billing information

FD Solutions implemented the entire site, including multiple interfaces to internal and external real-time systems, provided web services, implemented all of the HTML, CSS, JavaScript, middle tier, and data tier.

The successful implementation of a well-planned design resulted in a very engaging and pleasing customer experience.

London Hydro is a Local Distribution Company (LDC) providing energy to the city of London, Ontario, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary company of the city. With a peak load of 719 megawatts, London Hydro delivers a safe and reliable supply of electricity to over 148,000 customers from the residential, institutional, commercial and industrial sectors, spanning 420 square kilometres of service territory. Electricity assets are valued at $240,000,000.

A few words about the project

Feedback

Working closely with London Hydro's internal teams, we produced a dynamic and interactive customer data driven website. Leveraging existing system data and combining it with the power of the Google Cloud and Google App Engine created an extremely powerful and flexible system.

— Director of Project Delivery at London Hydro

Back to top