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Joint pioneer project resulted in more effective processes and satisfied customers

As a result of E.ON and Landis+Gyr cooperation, the electricity consumption data of about 60,000 customers is measured in real time. Smart metering has improved the efficiency of the company’s processes; the amount of work required for meter reading and for connecting and disconnecting the electricity supply has reduced significantly. A great deal of the increased efficiency is due to the Dashboard application, used in both customer and metering services. Expanded product range and new services have increased customer satisfaction.

E.ON Kainuun Sähköverkko Oy is one of the first network companies in Finland to expand smart metering to cover all of its customers. All about 60 000 customers have a smart meter. Company’s partner in the smart metering project has been Landis+Gyr. The cooperation between the companies began with load management systems already in the 1980s: E.ON utilised Landis+Gyr’s smart metering infrastructure and its control functionalities in evening out peaks in energy demand and optimising costs due to electricity supply prices. The first large-scale phase in residential smart metering began in 2002, with the installation of 20,000 smart meters. In 2005 smart metering was expanded to cover all of E.ON’s 60 000 customers.

E.ON Kainuun Sähköverkko Oy is one of the first network companies in Finland to expand smart metering to cover all of its customers. All about 60 000 customers have a smart meter. Company’s partner in the smart metering project has been Landis+Gyr. The cooperation between the companies began with load management systems already in the 1980s: E.ON utilised Landis+Gyr’s smart metering infrastructure and its control functionalities in evening out peaks in energy demand and optimising costs due to electricity supply prices. The first large-scale phase in residential smart metering began in 2002, with the installation of 20,000 smart meters. In 2005 smart metering was expanded to cover all of E.ON’s 60 000 customers.

Reliable technology from a reliable partner

The transfer of E.ON to smart metering was guided by a strong vision of the potential in smart metering. The company wanted to have more information on electricity consumption and on the status of its electricity network, as well as to increase the control possibilities of the network.

Advanced smart metering project required a partner that could provide an overall economical and cost-efficient, yet high-quality and durable solution for smart metering. E.ON wanted a well-known and reliable partner who had proven its ability to provide extensive smart metering solutions. The varying geographical conditions set certain requirements for the technology: urban and rural areas would demand the use of a variety of different communication technologies. Due to the flexible communication structure of Landis+Gyr, for instance, 2G/3G, Ethernet, PSTN and PLC technologies were available for communication.

In addition to smart meters E.ON’s smart metering solution included smart metering system, communications and the integration of the smart metering system and the information system of the network company. Landis+Gyr is also responsible for the customer service relating to the maintenance of the Gridstream AIM system. The smart metering solution also included the training of the network company’s personnel. The project was carried out in close cooperation between Landis+Gyr and E.ON.

Precise data on network status

E.ON has utilised hour-based data from the very first stages. Transforming station metering provides detailed information on the load on individual transformers, which helps in defining the capacity of the network accurately and in adjusting the network – for example, the efficiency of the feeder planning process has improved significantly. Due to the information recieved on the network status and load, investments can be accurately allocated. Smart metering has facilitated the monitoring of the network: sudden changes in consumption, faults and load problems are located quickly. In addition, it has been possible to use information on the exact times and durations of power cuts.

"With Landis+Gyr’s smart metering solution, our network management processes have developed a great deal. We now have hour-based data on the load of even single transformers and metering points. We can use this detailed information in a wide variety of our user groups," says Jari Rusanen, Metering Manager of E.ON.

The processes have become more efficient also due to increased automation and centralisation of operations: for instance, the balance settlement process takes less time as the needed data can be gathered as sum information. The manual work needed in removal readings and power connections and disconnections is history: several hundreds of monthly connections and readings can be carried out via remote connection. The automation of operations is part of E.ON’s vision for instance, as regards requests for the inspection of metering devices.

Versatile customer service

Service situations take less time and are based on the customer’s real-time consumption data. This has improved the quality and credibility of customer service. Also different control components are included in electricity products: it is now possible to make arrangements with the customer for disconnecting certain loads as necessary; the customer can see the result in their bill, and the power company can better manage its production capacity for example in power shortage situations. Thanks to expanded product range customers can choose their electricity contract more freely according to their own consumption demands. E.ON also offers its customers a web-tool for personal energy management.

Dashboard – easy to use tool for monitoring consumption data

E.ON chose Landis+Gyr’s Dashboard application, which is an online tool developed for monitoring real-time data. The application is used in customer service, balance control and technical customer service as well as in the metering service, all of which can access the metering data through Dashboard with individually defined user roles. Dashboard provides access to customers’ consumption data through the Gridstream AIM system with personal user names and passwords. For example, for customer service, it provides reports and data that are not offered by a regular customer information system. The application displays the customer’s consumption and metering point data in clear graphic form, and the data can also be delivered to the customer.

Through the application, data on power cuts and electricity quality is readily available, and it can also be used in comparing data from a single or several metering points in a chosen time period. Dashboard allows for sending meter reading requests and controlling meters remotely. It also enables relay controls. Dashboard also has a manager view designed for company management for monitoring of the sales and distribution of electricity products.

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