Smart Meters | Smart Energy International News & insights for smart metering, smart energy & grid professionals in the electricity, water & gas industries. Thu, 24 Aug 2023 10:21:43 +0000 en-ZA hourly 1 Smart Meters | Smart Energy International 32 32 India marks 3.6 million smart meters milestone Thu, 24 Aug 2023 11:00:00 +0000 Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of Indian public sector undertakings operating under the country’s Ministry of Power, has announced installation of 3.6 million smart meters across India.

Installation is being coordinated under the JV’s smart meter national programme (SMNP), which is delivering smart meters to the states of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Bihar, NDMC-Delhi and Telangana.

The aim of the SMNP is to improve the billing and collection efficiencies of distribution companies (DISCOMs) operating in the country.

According to EESL, the smart meters are connected through a web-based monitoring system to help reduce commercial losses.

The smart meters are further hoped to enhance revenues and serve as an important tool in the country’s power sector reform.

Power sector reforms

Earlier this year in June, India‘s Ministry of Power announced ₹664 billion ($8 billion) in incentives for power sector reform across the country’s States.

The incentives will be granted in the form of borrowing permissions, aiming to encourage each state to undertake reforms to enhance the efficiency and performance of the power sector.

The financing will be made available via the 2021 to 2022 union budget.

Additionally, states the Power Ministry, ₹1.4 trillion ($17.4 billion) has been earmarked as an incentive to States for undertaking the reforms in the 2023 to 2024 fiscal year.

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To be eligible for the incentives, State governments must undertake a set of mandatory reforms and meet stipulated performance benchmarks.

The required reforms include:

• Reducing losses of public sector power distribution companies (DISCOMs) by the State Government
• Transparency in the reporting of financial affairs of the power sector, including payment of subsidies and recording of liabilities of Governments to DISCOMs and of DISCOMs to others
• Timely audits and rendition of financial and energy accounts
• Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements

Leveraging LwM2M for smart metering Thu, 24 Aug 2023 08:17:22 +0000 In an economy on the ropes, smart meters are no longer a luxury but a necessity. As of 2021, there were 111 million smart metering installations in the US, and this figure is only expected to rise as the need for precise and resourceful energy management increases.

Put simply, smart metering is key to managing energy, water and gas consumption effectively. And critically, Lightweight Machine-to-Machine (LwM2M) technology plays a pivotal role in making smart metering more efficient and responsive. Let’s explore how.

Understanding smart metering

Smart metering solutions provide valuable, real-time insights into resource consumption. In contrast, traditional metering systems suffer from a host of limitations. These include infrequent data collection, reliance on manual readings and limited visibility into real-time consumption. These systems also often fail to detect anomalies or leaks promptly, leading to wastage and higher user costs.

But how does LwM2M fit in here? LwM2M both facilitates and improves smart metering. It has the capability to enhance its efficiency and accuracy (if the LwM2M data model is in use) while boosting its real-time monitoring capabilities.

Through IoT device management, LwM2M ensures seamless smart metering connectivity, transforming how we monitor resource use.

LwM2M: Unveiling the technology

At the heart of today’s smart metering revolution is the Lightweight Machine-to-Machine (LwM2M) technology, designed for efficiency, scale and interoperability. Key features and advantages include:

  • Lightweight: Consumes less bandwidth and power, making it cost-effective and ideal for large-scale IoT deployments. With LwM2M, IoT-based smart metering systems can offer massive benefits without bloated hardware and data storage.
  • Efficient: Enhanced transmission rates enable swift and accurate data flow.
  • Remote management: IoT device management is seamless, offering real-time monitoring and control.

In smart metering, LwM2M has a capability to foster robust machine-to-machine communication. It may simplify data transmission, making it faster and more reliable, and amplifies remote management capabilities, transforming how we monitor and control infrastructure elements such as routers, gateways and last but not least smart meters.

LwM2M in energy consumption monitoring

LwM2M supercharges smart metering systems, boosting their capabilities in energy management:

  • Real-time data: LwM2M enables instantaneous data collection and analysis, offering immediate feedback to consumers. The result? Smarter, more efficient energy use.
  • Demand response programmes: LwM2M can integrate with these programmes, allowing utility providers to adjust power production based on real-time demand, reducing waste and improving service reliability.
  • Predictive maintenance: Leveraging LwM2M, IoT-based smart metering systems can predict maintenance needs, preventing malfunctions before they occur.

In essence, LwM2M transforms cellular IoT smart meters into proactive, precise instruments for energy monitoring and management, offering yet more benefits of smart metering.

LwM2M in water metering

LwM2M is a game changer in the field of smart water metering, driving accuracy and sustainability:

  • Accurate measurement: By enabling precise data collection, LwM2M ensures consumers are only charged for actual water usage.
  • Leak detection: The technology allows for early detection of leaks, preventing wastage and reducing utility bills.
  • Remote monitoring: With LwM2M, consumers have real-time insight into their water consumption, promoting conscious usage and sustainability.

Essentially, LwM2M empowers consumers with the data they need to make informed decisions, optimizing water use.

LwM2M in gas metering

Ultrasonic smart gas meter manufactured by Flonidan

LwM2M transforms the landscape of gas metering, heightening safety and efficiency:

  • Real-time monitoring: LwM2M enables live tracking and analysis of gas consumption, ensuring optimal usage and cost-efficiency.
  • Anomaly detection: The technology excels in spotting irregular gas usage, helping prevent wastage.
  • Leak prevention and safety: LwM2M enhances safety by promptly identifying potential gas leaks, helping to prevent accidents and property damage.

By integrating LwM2M into gas metering systems, users gain a more detailed, real-time understanding of their consumption habits. It’s a leap forward in gas safety and efficiency.

Final thoughts on LwM2M

LwM2M isn’t just a step forward in smart metering; it’s a leap. Revolutionizing energy, water, and gas management delivers real-time insights, enhanced safety and waste reduction. It’s not just about better resource management; it’s about smarter, more sustainable living. The future of smart metering is here, powered by LwM2M.

About AVSystem:

At AVSystem, we pride ourselves on being a trusted and reliable partner for IoT deployments. We understand that proper device management is crucial to the success of any IoT project, which is why we have built our reputation on providing best-in-class solutions to ensure that our clients achieve scalability, interoperability and security.


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Coiote IoT Device Management Platform:

Smart metering for large consumers in Germany in development Wed, 23 Aug 2023 08:06:45 +0000 A load profile measurement (RLM) smart metering system is reported to be becoming available for I&C and other large consumption points in Germany.

The smart metering system is under development by energy companies E.ON and Netze BW, technology suppliers Robotron Datenbank-Software and Power Plus Communications and manufacturer Landis+Gyr.

The companies have announced that the system is based on the integration of an RLM meter to a smart meter gateway with testing having proven its marketability and timely availability.

The large consumption points in Germany account for about three-quarters of the energy consumed in the country, although in number they amount to only around 1% of the total 53 million metering points, i.e. about 530,000.

Under the Digitisation Act, at least 20% of the load profile measurement points in Germany must be equipped with smart metering by 2028.

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“With this technical solution, we are taking a further step towards digitising the RLM measuring points with smart meter gateways,” commented Jürgen Kramny, Head of Metering Systems at Netze BW.

Malte Sunderkötter, Managing Director of E.ON Grid Solutions with responsibility for the smart meter rollout in the E.ON group, said the solution has the potential to become a new industry standard.

“To this end, we are building on broad acceptance among customers, users and manufacturers.”

Specifically, the solution is based on the connection of a Landis+Gyr RLM meter to Robotron’s back-end system via the controllable local systems (CLS) interface of Power Plus Communications’ smart meter gateway.

The solution fulfils all the specific RLM use cases and also makes the metered values available for subsequent billing with storage in the meter – key in the event of a temporary interruption of the communication link to the meter, given the high levels of energy involved.

In addition, the local interfaces of the meter can be used for specific industry use cases, thus taking into account the different requirements of customers in this market segment, the companies have reported.

The solution is available in a test environment and the intent is to further optimise it as it evolves.

Workforce management solution to support Israel’s smart meter rollout Wed, 23 Aug 2023 07:19:29 +0000 Sweden’s isMobile is to provide its Field Service Management solution in partnership with Ericsson.

The solution, designed to empower the mobile workforce and increase its operational efficiency and delivered on the Coordinator platform, is intended to serve as a deployment tool handling all stages of the meter exchange project.

The smart meter rollout is an initiative of the Israel Electric Corporation.

The first phase of 565,000 smart meters for residential customers has been awarded to Landis+Gyr, with the potential to extend the order up to 4.2 million units.

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In addition, Landis+Gyr will provide the head-end system and services for the maintenance of the existing meter data management system and related applications.

“We have been working for a long time together with Ericsson and we are thrilled to have a part in this extensive project,” comments Jonas Ljungdahl, Business Development Manager at isMobile.

The installation of the smart meters is a key component of Israel’s energy sector reform, which is underway until the end of 2024 and will see Israel Electric focus increasingly on transmission and distribution and reduce its activity in generation and supply – this latter opening to competition.

Further, its system administrator role has been taken over by the newly formed Noga company.

isMobile provides a range of solutions from smart meter rollouts to logistics equipment tracking.

Among other recent initiatives announced is a partnership with Tech Mahindra to enhance its AMI Command and Control Centre offering with smart metering operations and field service management.

Smart Energy Finances: BEV fires shoot down Nikola shares Fri, 18 Aug 2023 09:30:00 +0000 This week’s Smart Energy Finances looks at Nikola Motors’ plummeting shares after recalling 209 EVs due to battery fires.

Also on the radar is significant growth from Chameleon Technologies, which announced their 10 millionth smart meter IHD as well as Greenbird’s acquisition by energy giant GE Vernova.

Nikola Motors shares on the fall

Nikola Motors, an Arizona-headquartered electric truck maker, has voluntarily recalled 209 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) after reporting a coolant leak as the cause of an EV truck fire at their headquarters earlier this year.

A temporary hold has been placed on Nikola’s BEV sales.

“The safety of customers, dealers and team members are Nikola’s top priority,” stated the company in a press release last Friday as days later the company’s stock plummeted.

According to Bloomberg reportage, the company’s shares fell by up to 20% at the start of the week, a trend signalling another nail to the coffin after the company’s shares were recorded as falling 98% from their peak reached in June 2020.

Internal investigations from Nikola’s safety and engineering teams indicated a single supplier component within the battery pack as the likely source of the coolant leak.

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“At Nikola we take safety very seriously,” said Steve Girsky, Nikola’s CEO. “We stated from the beginning that as soon as our investigations were concluded we would provide an update, and we will continue our transparency as we learn more.”

The company’s initial statement on the fire in June alluded to foul play as a possible cause, although a review has since suggested foul play or other external factors were unlikely.

Although the Class 8 Tre BEV’s have been recalled, the company has stated that their hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), which are currently in production, will not be affected as they make use of a different battery design.

According to the company’s Q2 2023 report, 18 customers placed orders to Nikola and dealers for over 200 hydrogen FCEVs.

Nikola Corporation designs and manufactures heavy-duty BEVs, FCEVs and energy infrastructure solutions, such as energy storage systems and hydrogen charging station infrastructure, through its brand HYLA, which was launched in January this year to oversee the company’s energy products for producing, distributing and dispensing hydrogen.

The BEV case follows the company naming a fourth CEO after Michael Lohscheller stepped down earlier this month due to family concerns, leading to the company losing more than a quarter of its market value, states Reuters. Lohscheller was replaced by former General Motors executive Stephen Girsky.

Nikola has flagged “substantial doubts” about its ability to continue as a going concern for the next year, reiterating its warning for the third time since February, as it awaits “critical” additional capital.

The news from Nikola also comes as concerns rise over fires caused by EV batteries.

Research released in February this year, Full-scale fire testing of battery electric vehicles, finds that although the characteristics of BEV fires are similar to those of traditional passenger vehicles, jet flames caused by thermal runaway – a result of exponential increases in heat within the battery cell – “accelerates the fire spread to other combustibles of BEVs”.

Thus, states the researchers, thermal runaway and reignition mark major risks to first responders.

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GE Vernova acquires Greenbird

Energy major GE Vernova’s digital business has acquired Greenbird Integration Technology AS, a data integration platform company focused on utilities.

The acquisition comes 10 years after Greenbird’s launch; the company’s platform will accelerate GridOS, which the company calls “the world’s first software portfolio designed specifically for grid orchestration, adding new capabilities for connecting systems and integrating data across the grid more easily and at scale”.

The financial terms of the acquisition are not being disclosed.

The Greenbird acquisition is hoped to expand the capabilities of GE Vernova’s data fabric, eliminating data silos to make it faster and easier to connect and aggregate energy data, reducing the time and expense of data integration projects.

Responding to Smart Energy International was Frederik ten Sythoff, Greenbird VP of communication and marketing, who commented on the company’s outlook after the successful acquisition:

“As a company, we are proud that we have contributed with our thought leadership to highlight the importance for utilities to move into a data-driven future and with our technology to simplify this transition for them.

“We see the challenges in the industry are getting bigger and bigger. We need a much bigger focus and bigger solutions to make an impact. We’re using data to accelerate the industry and world to sustainable energy.

“GE Vernova has a legacy and proven track record to address these unique challenges we are facing in the energy sector. The acquisition is a strong signal and commitment to utilities, partners, and the industry of the strength of GridOS and the important role it’ll play in accelerating a more sustainable energy grid.”

Read more

Chameleon Tech’s 10 millionth IHD and significant growth

UK-based smart energy technology business Chameleon Technology has announced the manufacturing and delivery of its 10 millionth in-home display (IHD), a record they state for the industry, enabling insights into energy consumption for consumers through “visible, transparent, real-time data” they state in a release.

The IHDs connect to energy providers’ smart meters to help consumers track their energy use and costs. By the end of the UK smart meter rollout, two in every three homes are projected to have a Chameleon Technology IHD, according to the company.

The announcement of the milestone was followed by the opening of new offices for the clean tech company in the UK, after being awarded over £3.6 million ($4.6 million) in government funding for additional projects, including the Green Home Finance Accelerator (GHFA).

Smart energy finances - Nikola shares plumment. Chameleon Technology grows.
Minister for energy efficiency and green finance at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, Lord Callanan joins Chameleon Technology’s co-founder and CEO Mike Woodhall for a tour of the new office space. Image courtesy Chameleon Technology.

The GHFA aims to make available innovation funding for the development of green finance products which can enable the uptake of home energy efficiency, low carbon heating and micro-generation retrofit measures in the UK.

Through their award, Chameleon Technology’s HTC-UP project will aim to help domestic homeowners looking to improve their home’s energy efficiency, with initial support tailored to the needs of landlords.

The funding will be used to assess the viability of a “one-stop-shop for energy efficiency improvements” they state, from initial assessment to financing.

Heat Transfer Co-efficient (HTC) technology will be used to provide homeowners with an accurate measurement of a property’s energy efficiency rather than having to rely on the survey-based method used to produce current EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) ratings.

The HTC algorithm takes smart meter data and internal temperature readings, collected through the ivie Bud in-home display, and combines these with external temperature readings gained from third party weather data.

This combination of data is hoped to create a much more accurate measurement of how much heat is escaping the home, leading to a more precise carbon-efficiency score for the property.

What are your thoughts about the financial insecurities that come with investments in new technologies?

Let me know and make sure to follow Smart Energy Finances for the latest finance and investment news coming out of the energy sector.

Yusuf Latief
Content Producer
Smart Energy International

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Germany’s sonnen announces 250MWh VPP as ‘Europe’s largest’ Fri, 18 Aug 2023 09:00:00 +0000 Germany-headquartered and Shell-owned sonnen has announced that its virtual power plant (VPP) has reached capacity of 250MWh, claimed to be the largest in Europe to date.

The VPP consists of tens of thousands of sonnenBatteries throughout Germany, states sonnen, which are intelligently controlled and can be used as large-scale storage.

The company hopes to reach the 1GWh mark in the coming years, providing a “decentralised buffer storage” that can be used to balance supply and demand on the electric grid, stated the company in a press release.

sonnen is calling the milestone a new standard “in the digital networking of private households and renewable energies”.

Previously the title of ‘Europe’s largest VPP’ was claimed by Elisa earlier this year in February, when the telecommunications company was awarded a grant by the Finnish government for development of a 150MWh VPP.

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The sonnenVPP is currently providing capacity, for example, to compensate for frequency fluctuations (primary control power) in the transmission grid or to participate in electricity trading on the exchange.

According to the company, the system can shift the time at which solar power is fed in so that it is compatible with the grid and, for example, the midday peak is stored by PV systems instead of adding to congestion.

Customers within the VPP also have access to services via intelligent electricity contracts such as sonnenFlat and receive a share of the proceeds.

“The energy transition must not get stuck in the power grids. With our virtual power plant, we have an instrument for intelligently integrating PV systems, e-cars or heat pumps into our power grids. Our power plant is already in people’s homes and doesn’t need any additional space,” stated Oliver Koch, CEO of sonnen.

After proof of concept within the transmission system, sonnen hopes to use the VPP to offer grid stabilisation services in the distribution grid, where bottlenecks from new PV systems, e-cars and heat pumps are already a concern.

Added Koch: “Currently, many processes in the power grids are not yet digitised or regulated accordingly, so that we are far from exploiting the potential of our technology. However, we are doing valuable pioneering work here, e.g. with our own smart meter rollout.”

Sonnen began a smart meter rollout for its customers in 2016 and in May this year announced an acceleration of rollout in Germany alongside Solandeo, a German energy equipment and solutions provider.

The acceleration is an extension of their collaboration and will see the installation of a further 10,000 intelligent metering systems (iMSys) to sonnenCommunity, an independent energy community.

Fully acquired by Shell in 2019, sonnen also operates virtual power plants in the USA, Australia and Italy. Earlier this year saw company join the VP3 alliance in the US, which hopes to develop and scale up VPP technology.

West Bengal gets 200,000 smart meters Fri, 18 Aug 2023 07:33:00 +0000 The West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company (WBSEDCL) is to instal 200,000 smart meters as part of its distribution grid modernisation.

The contract for the advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) initiative with a value of Rs416.84 crore ($50.2 million) has been awarded to HPL Electric & Power.

The goal of the project, which is supported by funding from the World Bank, is to reduce losses and improve the revenue collection for the utility.

The proposal is that the smart meters will be deployed to high-value consumers in selected urban geographies, including Asansol and Kharagpur among others, by the end of 2026.

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The meters also are expected to improve peak load management and help in better integration of distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar in the grid.

They also should support demand side management by providing consumers with access to their consumption data and hence encourage them to reduce their electricity consumption.

The project marks HPL Electric & Power’s further inroads and broader role in India’s meter market – of which the company claims a 20% market share – with its first as the ‘advanced metering infrastructure service provider’ (AMISP) with responsibility for delivering other smart metering infrastructure and services, alongside its traditional role as supplier to the AMISPs.

“This achievement not only highlights our readiness for change, but also emphasises our preparedness to seize the opportunities in India’s smart metering evolution,” said the company’s joint MD and Chief Financial Officer, Gautam Seth, in an investor call.

As a World Bank-supported project, it is supplementary to but broadly following the guidelines of the national rollout under the Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS).

Smart grid development

The smart meter rollout forms part of the smart grid component of the distribution grid modernisation.

Other elements include technology and capacity upgrades of the ICT systems and the deployment of distribution automation technologies and integration of communicable control devices with SCADA.

More broadly other aspects include the strengthening and augmentation of the distribution network in select districts and towns, with retrofits, new distribution and undergrounding of lines for storm protection, and the customary technical assistance for institutional development and capacity building.

The whole distribution grid modernisation is due for completion at the end of November 2026.

Ireland over smart meters half way mark Wed, 16 Aug 2023 06:32:32 +0000 Ireland’s ESB Networks has reported now having installed more than 1.3 million smart meters, corresponding to a penetration of about 54%.

ESB Networks started its deployment of smart meters in the autumn of 2019 and is working through the country on a phased area-by-area basis.

Currently, installations are taking place in County Longford in the central north of Ireland.

Ireland’s Commission for the Regulation of Utilities (CRU) made the decision to implement smart metering for all residential and small business customers in July 2012, following customer behaviour and technology trials and a positive cost-benefit analysis.

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Under the National Smart Metering Programme, which is being delivered by ESB Networks in partnership with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and electricity suppliers, the rollout must be completed for the approximately 2.4 million customers by the end of 2024.

With the smart meters, suppliers are required to offer all users a time-of-use tariff and to make available new services.

ESB Networks also has launched a portal for smart meter users to view their consumption.

At the time of the one million smart meter milestone in October 2022, ESB Networks reported to be installing the new meters at a rate of about 10,000 per week and on track to meet the 2024 timeline.

To date, the programme has focussed on the replacement of standard 24-hour meters to smart meters.

However, the plan is to start from September 2023 also replacing other meter types, including day-night meters, standard 3 phase 24-hour meters with large users including industrial and commercial customers and night storage heating meters.

ESB Networks is installing meters from Kamstrup and Sagemcom.

Finland’s Elenia progresses next-gen smart meter rollout Tue, 15 Aug 2023 06:40:06 +0000 Finland’s second largest network service company Elenia has reported approaching the 40% mark with its second generation smart meter rollout.

The programme, which began in 2021 and runs to 2025, has so far seen the installation of over 150,000 new smart meters.

A further 7,000 units are due to be installed by year end in the central-southern municipality of Pälkäne.

The new generation smart meters are of Finnish design by Elenia in partnership with the smart grid solution provider Aidon, which together have developed a platform on which over time new services may be enabled, such as the use of self generation, electric vehicle integration or flexibility for the grid.

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The telecom operator Elisa also is a partner, with responsibility for IoT communications between the meters and the wider system.

The new meters are aimed to involve Elenia and its customers more strongly in climate solutions and actions, according to the company.

Customers with the new meters can access Elenia’s new AinaLab service, where they can monitor their electricity consumption down to the five-minute level on an almost real-time basis.

The service also disaggregates the loads by the three phases enabling monitoring of individual phases and checking the phase connections of individual devices.

Sanni Harala, Account and Stakeholder Manager at Elenia, says that consumption data often appears in the AinaLab service within a few minutes and usually within an hour.

“The energy sector plays a key role in the electric, green transition, which we are promoting by modernising the electricity grid and its technology. The smart grid is increasingly involved in climate solutions,” he says.

The installation of Elenia’s smart meters is being undertaken by Finnish provider Voimatel.

Since the start of the programme, installations have progressed in Elenia’s network area in Northern and South Ostrobothnia, Central Finland and Pirkanmaa.

Installations will begin in Kanta-Häme in 2024 and in Päijät-Häme in 2025.

In all approximately 400,000 smart meters are being replaced, broadly in line with the end of service life of the current meters.

A further 40,000 customers have newer meters that will be replaced at a later date.

Hong Kong’s CLP Power reaches 2 million smart meters milestone Mon, 14 Aug 2023 10:31:50 +0000 Hong Kong’s electricity distributor and transmitter CLP Power Hong Kong Limited has announced installation of two million smart meters for more than 70% of its customers.

CLP Power has been replacing traditional meters since 2018 to enhance the reliability of power supply in the utility’s operating areas. Installation is expected to complete by 2025.

The smart meters will allow CLP Power customers to view their hourly consumption as recently as four hours ago.

CLP Power stated in a release that this will enable new insights into usage patterns to enable consumption and price reductions.

Since 2020, CLP Power has invited residential customers with smart meters to make slight adjustments to their consumption behaviour and reduce their energy use during peak demand periods.

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950,000 households were invited to join an energy saving event this summer, of which around 70% saved a total of 410,000kWh of electricity over a period of four hours.

Customers with smart meters can view their consumption using the CLP Mobile App. Image courtesy CLP Power.

Commented CLP Power managing director Joseph Law: “Customers can enjoy digitalised services and energy management solutions made possible by smart meters to optimise their consumption habits, resulting in energy savings and better management of electricity expenses, supporting the Hong Kong SAR Government to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

“In recent years, customers with smart meters have used them as an effective tool for energy management and actively participated in energy-saving events that reduce peak electricity demand. We will continue to enhance the customer experience by launching different services to help people adopt a smarter, low-carbon lifestyle.”

CLP Power is a Hong Kong utility subsidiary wholly owned by CLP Holdings Limited. The company operates electricity services for more than six million people in its supply areas.

Smart meter data innovations to trial in Britain Fri, 11 Aug 2023 07:37:51 +0000 Two projects to trial a smart meter-based Internet of Things and a third to trial a proof of concept for a smart meter data repository have been given the go ahead.

The three projects, part of a broader programme to investigate innovations to deliver large-scale flexibility to the electricity system, now move into phase 2 following the first phase to establish feasibility.

Smart meter based IoT applications

The IoT programme is focussed on trialling smart meter system-based sensor devices and the supporting data management tools.

Five projects were funded in the first phase, of which the two selected for further development of their solutions and to build and deploy demonstrations are the Hildebrand-led ‘Smart metering IoT system’ with funding of £764,323 (approx. $976,000) and the Octopus-led ‘Low cost enabler to connect IoT data to the smart meter system’ with £625,171 ($795,000).

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The ‘Smart metering IoT system’ project is focussed on demonstrating smart sensing of temperature and humidity within a property, using smart meter data accessible through the Data Communication Company’s (DCC) communications network.

In Phase 1 data collected from temperature and humidity sensing were shown to work within the DCC test environments while maintaining world class security and high service levels.

The project innovates by utilising new types of sensor data accessible through smart meters and the DCC network, without requiring additional operational obligations of suppliers.

Other participants include the University of Salford and Utilita conducting in-home trials.

Octopus’s project will build on its proprietary ‘Octopus Home’ product, which will connect IoT sensor devices to the company’s cloud based platform to allow real time insights on new data metrics such as temperature and humidity.

During phase 2 Octopus Energy along with Rufilla, NCC Group, Silicon Labs and the DCC will look at securing Certified Product Assurance (CPA) security certification of Octopus Home and adding new environment sensors to the device as well as connecting a HAN load control switch or standalone auxiliary proportional controller to the smart metering system via Octopus Home

With consumer consent, sensor data would be transmitted via the smart meter network instead of relying on home networking and device specific private cloud services.

The solution should provide real time data captured through the connected IoT devices, increasing options for the monitoring of smart building devices in the home.

Smart meter energy data repository

The smart meter energy data repository programme is aimed to determine the technical and commercial feasibility of such a repository.

From the three phase 1 projects, the ‘Anonymisation enhanced smart meter data repository’ led by Advanced Infrastructure Technology Ltd has been awarded funding of £850,000 ($1,08 million) for the phase 2 proof of concept.

The project’s approach puts privacy in the foreground, exploring new tools and techniques to protect personal data while sharing anonymised trends and insights to help manage the energy system more efficiently and accelerate the transition to net zero.

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks will co-create the solution alongside the DCC, drawing on machine learning research co-developed by the University of Sheffield and Advanced Infrastructure to leverage the power of aggregated smart meter data in reducing the cost of heating and powering homes.

Other partners in the consortium are Perse Technology, which provides data services for the energy and carbon markets, N3rgy which will provide technology to test the provision of secure and scalable access to smart energy data, and the Retail Energy Code Company which will provide expertise aligned with the goal to make the retail energy market efficient.

The timescale of the phase 2 projects is expected to be around 15 months.

Copper Labs receives patent for outage detection for AMR meters Thu, 10 Aug 2023 07:33:00 +0000 Meter technology provider Copper Labs has patented a technique for identifying outages from automated meter reading (AMR).

The capability is intended to offer a low cost option for utilities that use drive-by AMR to detect and manage outages without the requirement for upgrade to an automated metering infrastructure (AMI).

The feature, which is described in a patent, is in essence based on cloud-based signal detection analysis to detect meters that are not transmitting readings and from their GPS coordinates to determine a polygon defining the outage area.

“Effectively responding to and managing outages is critical for all utilities,” said Dan Forman, CEO of Copper Labs.

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“Our goal is to give utility companies the tools they need to quickly identify and decrease the duration of power outages – regardless of the types of metering equipment they currently have in the field – while also empowering homeowners with timely and actionable insights.”

Outage detection has historically been one of the primary motivators for electric utilities to consider the retrofit of AMR systems to AMI.

With Copper Labs’ advanced technology, utility companies can now identify the exact location of outages and efficiently allocate resources for restoration without having to make this shift, the company says in a statement.

The new capability joins a growing collection of offerings for utilities, including a ‘neighbourhood-level detector’ announced earlier in the year, which is designed to ‘smarten’ residential meters at scale.

Copper Labs also is partnering with the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory on a tool to harness meter datasets for outage detection and automated restoration. The technology is due to be tested at 20 rural locations.

Similarly the company has introduced an ‘add-on’ technology for water meters for water leak detection without the need for a full water AMI upgrade.

Energy meter testing: On-site vs Laboratory Wed, 09 Aug 2023 14:38:13 +0000 Energy meters are an essential part of the energy management system. They are used to measure the amount of energy consumed by residential, commercial, and industrial users. To ensure that the energy meter is accurate, it is important to conduct regular testing. The testing can be conducted either on-site or at a laboratory. What are the advantages and disadvantages of both methods?

On-Site testing

On-site testing involves testing the energy meter while it is installed in the building. This method has several advantages:


On-site testing is more convenient than laboratory testing, as it does not require the removal of the energy meter from the existing installation. This means that the testing can be conducted without disrupting the power supply.

Accuracy on actual load

On-site testing provides a more accurate representation of the energy meter’s performance under its operating conditions. This is because the energy meter is tested in the actual environment in which it is installed.


On-site testing is generally less expensive than laboratory testing, as it does not require the exchange and transportation of the energy meter to a laboratory.

Capturing of external effects

Wrong external wiring, instrument transformer ratios and burdens can only be checked on-site. The same is valid for obvious tamper cases and broken seals.

On-site testing also has some disadvantages:

On-site testing may be limited by the availability of testing equipment and the technical expertise of the tester. It is important to ensure that the testing is conducted by a qualified and trained professional.

A disconnection of the customer for testing with an external voltage/current source is rarely possible. So, other loads or different power factors can’t be checked without allowance of the end-user.

On-site testing may be time-consuming, as it requires the tester to travel to the location of the energy meter. Additionally, the testing process may take longer as the tester has to work around the building’s schedule by appointment.

Laboratory testing

Laboratory testing involves removing the energy meter from the building and transporting it to a laboratory for testing.

This method has several advantages:

Example image: CLOU DC Meter Test Bench CL6350C


Laboratory testing provides more control over the testing environment. This means that environmental conditions can be carefully controlled, and higher accurate measurement equipment can be used.


Laboratory testing provides a more accurate representation of the energy meter’s performance, as the testing is conducted in a controlled environment with selectable load-points, power factors and harmonics injection. Also, it’s much easier to perform simple no-load-, starting- and register tests.


Laboratory testing itself is generally more efficient than on-site testing, as the testing process over multiple test steps can be completed more quickly and efficiently.

Laboratory testing also has some disadvantages:

Laboratory testing is more inconvenient than on-site testing, as it requires the removal of the energy meter from the building. This can result in disruptions to the energy supply and may require additional planning and coordination. Laboratory testing is generally more expensive than on-site testing, as it requires the transportation of the energy meter to a laboratory and may require additional fees for testing equipment and expertise.

Read more news from Shenzhen CLOU


The decision to conduct on-site or laboratory testing depends on various factors, such as the type of energy meter, the purpose of testing, and the resources available.

On-site testing is generally more convenient and less expensive, but it may be limited by the availability of testing equipment and the technical expertise of the tester. Laboratory testing provides more control over the testing environment and more accurate results over the full range, but it is more expensive and less convenient.

Ultimately, the decision to conduct on-site or laboratory testing should be based on a careful assessment of the specific needs and requirements of the situation.

Our on-site testing equipment provides the convenience of testing the energy meter without disrupting the energy supply, while our laboratory equipment provides precise measurements in a controlled environment with predefined test plans.
Contact us today to learn more and improve your meter test efficiency.

Swiss network operator EKZ to deploy G3-PLC-based load control Mon, 07 Aug 2023 06:31:26 +0000 The G3-Alliance has reported EKZ’s installation of a next generation load control system in its OrtsNetz project.

The new system uses G3-PLC communication between gateways installed at transformer stations and load control devices installed in customer premises to control endpoints including heat pumps, boilers and electric vehicles.

The load control system functions concurrently with the existing G3-PLC enabled AMI rollout.

The G3-PLC coordinator, the nBox-SG at the transformer station, which is supplied by the Swiss connectivity solutions provider Neuron, multiplexes both metering and load control traffic towards their respective backend-systems.

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The load control devices are managed through machine-learning algorithms, which were developed by researchers at ETH Zurich.

This AI/ML logic is hosted in a software container within Neuron’s G3-PLC device and can take load switching decisions based on a variety of locally collected and remotely supplied information.

“We are excited to see this novel application of G3-PLC realising multiple smart grid functions, namely metering and load control,” said Leon Vergeer, general secretary of the G3-Alliance.

“Efficient integration of renewable energies requires real-time control and I am sure this application will find additional adopters in various markets.”

The OrtsNetz project, which was started in October 2021 and runs for four years, is aimed to address consumer energy behaviour in a local energy market in order to manage and reduce peak demand.

It involves approximately 500 Zurich households with other facets including the design and testing of incentives and dynamic tariffs in order to inform regulation and other aspects of Switzerland’s future electricity system.

The project is being supported by the Swiss Federal Ministry of Energy.

EKZ is one of Switzerland’s largest energy suppliers, supplying electricity to approximately 1 million people in the canton of Zurich.

The company also was one of the first in Switzerland to introduce smart meters back in 2013 and currently has more than 210,000 smart meters in its network.

Smart Energy Finances: IMServ’s strategic smart metering acquisition to tap MHHS Fri, 04 Aug 2023 08:49:15 +0000 This week’s Smart Energy Finances looks at the acquisition of Power Data Associates in the UK by IMServ Europe, which they state is a move to enhance their proposition in energy data collection, AMI and smart metering in expectation of the upcoming market-wide half-hourly settlement (MHHS) rules.

Also on the radar are robust earnings from an Indian company for their shunt resistors, which they claim to be the “backbone of smart metering technology and energy management systems” as well as a raised Series B funding round for Electric Vehicle (EV) services provider, which they will use for global expansion and new EV data-driven services.

Acquisition to bolster smart metering expertise

IMServ Europe, a UK-based energy data collection and metering specialist, has acquired Power Data Associates, a specialist meter administrator providing unmetered services to electricity, gas and water utilities and non-domestic energy customers.

IMServ is calling the acquisition an augmentation of their existing proposition in energy data collection, advanced meter infrastructure (AMI) and smart metering.

According to the company, unmetered supplies metering systems will be required to upgrade to half-hourly settlement as part of a forthcoming market-wide half-hourly settlement (MHHS) rules.

IMServ has already identified MHHS as a key strategic priority and aims to ease the transition for every sector of the market.\

The acquisition of Power Data Associates is hoped to enable this goal and allow customers with both metered and unmetered requirements to meet their needs ‘under one roof.’

IMServ will be the only company to offer the full range of MHHS services across the metered and unmetered data services segment.

Power Data Associates will continue to operate as a standalone company, with all current employees and senior leadership retained.

Power Data Associates specialises in providing services to help customers manage their unmetered energy usage. Key unmetered applications include street lighting, telecommunications infrastructure and, increasingly, electric vehicle (EV) charge points.

IMServ on the other hand is one of the UK’s leading meter operators and data collectors, servicing over 25% of the UK’s electricity consumption through the monitoring of 80 billion units of energy data.

Also from Smart Energy Finances:
AMI provider acquires a narrowband communications solution
Funding for autonomous EV charging and GridBeyond’s acquisition of Veritone Energy

Robust earnings from smart meter shunt resistors

Indian manufacturer of bimetal/trimetal strips and shunt resistors Shivalik Bimetal Controls has announced robust financial performance for Q1 FY24.

The company reported operational revenue rise to Rs113.07 Crore ($13.7 million) signalling 15.74% YoY growth. According to CFO Rajeev Ranjan, this is “our highest quarterly number in history.”

The company is calling the financial growth reflective of the Indian and global shift towards electrification.

The Indian government’s RDSS scheme has been opening up significant revenue streams for smart metering projects in the aims of reducing aggregate transmission and commercial (AT&C) losses.

Stated the company’s chairman, S.S. Sandhu, “Our shunt resistors are part of the backbone of smart metering technology and energy management systems, providing the precision and reliability required for efficient energy usage.

“As India accelerates its smart meter deployment to achieve electrical energy security, we are proud to be a key player in providing critical components, contributing to the country’s electrification renaissance.”

Shivalik Bimetal Controls was founded in 1984 and is headquartered out of New Delhi. It manufactures and sells thermostatic bimetal/trimetal strips for switching components used in electrical, electronics, automotive, agricultural, medical, defence and industrial applications.

The rising demand for switchgear, battery management and smart metering systems, they state, conveys solid long-term prospects for their product lines.

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Creating data space with smart meter hubs
For Enedis collective self-consumption is key to energy sharing enters grid services with successful financing, an EV charging software platform, has received a $33 million Series B raise, bringing total funded capital to $46M. connects EVs to grid networks, intelligently managing charging for more than 120,000 EVs daily by charging vehicles at grid-friendly times and connecting them to the company’s virtual power plant (VPP).

This latest funding round provides a pathway for to access an additional 400 million energy customers by utilising their shareholders’ energy retail, fleet, vehicle and insurance networks.

The funding round was led by National Grid Partners (NGP) with support from Aviva Ventures, WEX Venture Capital and InMotion Ventures, with continued support from existing investors Energy Impact Partners (EIP), Future Energy Ventures (FEV) and ArcTern Ventures.

The funding will also enable to expand its global operations while building on its growth across the US and UK.

Since 2018, has won over 30 national, regional and municipal utility contracts while developing partnerships with charging brands and auto original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) like the Volkswagen Group.

In announcing the funding, the company cites their offering of moving, storing and discharging energy for megawatts in flexible capacity as a crucial service in a time when utilities in the US and Europe tackle extreme weather conditions, placing significant strain on the electricity grid system.

Bobby Kandaswamy, Senior Director of Pathfinding & Incubation Investments at National Grid Partners, commented, “’s approach to providing a convenient, compelling experience for drivers to charge at home and on the road during grid-friendly times is essential for grid operators.

“Combined with its V2G services, positions utilities like National Grid as an accelerant to the clean energy transition.” As part of NGP’s investment, Kandaswamy has joined the board of directors. will also use these partnerships to co-create services that leverage vehicle data, deliver smart charging and, in the future, more fully develop bi-directional charging.

WEX Venture Capital’s investment will support the expansion of’s solution to bring managed charging to fleet vehicles.

For the latest finance and investment news coming out of the energy industry, make sure to follow Smart Energy Finances Weekly.

Yusuf Latief
Content Producer
Smart Energy International

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Endesa launches distribution network digital twin project Fri, 04 Aug 2023 06:16:58 +0000 Spanish utility Endesa’s network subsidiary e-distribución is to create a digital twin of its network over the next three years.

In preparation, the company has deployed 50 specialised teams both within the mainland and on the Canary and Balearic Islands to gather data on the 90,000km of medium and high voltage overhead lines, 1,311 substations and 144,000 distribution centres over an area of more than 195,000km2 that comprise its network.

Digitalisation of the lines is being undertaken from helicopters, while that of the other infrastructure is ground-based and includes a digital inventory of nameplates to identify each item.

Once the digital twin is complete, all of these will then be accessible at the click of a mouse and coupled with real-time operational data from sensors should provide an exact replica of the status of the network.

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The project, being undertaken with a €40 million ($43.7 million) investment, marks the next step in the company’s ongoing digitalisation of its operations, which began with smart meter deployment, a statement reads.

Endesa anticipates that the digital twin should open up new possibilities for the future management of the network, from simulations under different conditions to applying preventive maintenance, interacting with field personnel more efficiently and real-time control of network components.

Consumer benefits also are anticipated, with the more rapid detection of where failures may occur and simulations to determine the most efficient means of recovery.

Approximately one-third of the work is expected to be completed this year.

E-distribución’s networks carry about 43% of the electricity supplied to customers in Spain.

With the digital transformation of the networks, Endesa anticipates being able to integrate greater shares of renewable energy and support e-mobility and self-consumption, which are strategic priorities.

Meter data analysis platform released for consumption management Thu, 03 Aug 2023 07:33:00 +0000 A new platform has been announced, combining smart energy meters with a central data dashboard to provide insights into building energy consumption.

Colorado-headquartered Redaptive, an energy-as-a-service provider, launched the digital platform, which tracks and analyses building energy use data to provide insights for facility managers, energy professionals and utilities.

The solution, called Redaptive ONE, assesses building performance with the hope of simplifying sustainability reporting and helping to maximise energy savings.

According to Redaptive, the metering and data dashboard provides a window into consumption across building portfolios, which they claim saves on average 50% on reporting costs and time to gather and interpret the data, in addition to saving between 5%-15% on utility spend.

First Redaptive installs meters to measure electricity, water and gas usage enabling visibility into critical energy consumption for facility managers to make informed improvements.

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The platform’s release is followed by implementation across 18 locations, managed by WPT Capital Advisors, in five months.

In a press release announcing the solution, Spender Gerberding, a partner at WPT Capital Advisors, commented: “With Redaptive’s metering solution and the Redaptive ONE platform, our team can easily track and monitor consumption data, by building, across our entire portfolio for water, gas and electricity.”

Gerberding added how, through the solutions, inconsistent consumption patterns were quickly detected and alerts automatically sent “that ultimately create safer, healthier buildings by identifying leaks and building systems that are running at off-peak intervals.”

According to research released earlier this year – Building energy performance monitoring through the lens of data quality: A review – on the importance of smart meter data for energy performance, data quality reporting had been found to be fragmented and limited, although its importance is undeniable across sectors.

According to Redaptive, the platform can also enable access to consumption data for ongoing environmental, social and governance (ESG) and GRESB reporting without the leg work of collecting and deciphering utility bills from tenants.

The launch of the platform followed a $250 million fundraise with CPP, Honeywell, CBRE, Linse Capital and others.

4G connectivity upgrade for Britain’s smart meter system Thu, 03 Aug 2023 06:11:37 +0000 Vodafone has been selected by the Data Communications Company (DCC) to provide 4G connectivity for Britain’s smart meter network.

The agreement between Vodafone and the DCC is for up to 15 years to build and operate 4G managed IoT connectivity for the smart meter network.

The IoT connectivity will use Vodafone’s 4G network. With 4G reaching more the 99% of the country’s population, the ambition is for more homes and small businesses to be able to switch to a smart meter.

“The smart meter network is a key part of the nation’s journey to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Even though there is still a long life and more capacity in the technology we are using today, we need to continuously look towards how our technology is fit for the future,” commented Angus Flett, CEO of the DCC.

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“4G is a natural next step for our connectivity and is just one of a number of technical improvements the DCC is developing.”

A key consideration underlying the future connectivity considerations is the planned withdrawal by mobile operators of 2G and 3G in Britain by 2033, while 5G is not yet offered – and is unlikely to be for some years – with the almost universal coverage of 4G that the DCC’s service obligations require.

Currently, the DCC’s latest data indicates more than 16.6 million homes, more than half, are connected to the network, with numbers increasing by an average a little over 15,000 daily.

The full smart meter rollout is targeted for the end of 2025.

Vodafone will provide the 4G LTE network, with connectivity management delivered by its IoT platform, supported by IT and business consulting services firm CGI, which will be responsible for software development.

This new ‘wide area network’ will connect the DCC’s servers with the LTE communication hubs in the homes, which in turn connect to the gas and electricity smart meters.

With this approach, only the hubs and not the smart meters themselves need to be replaced with the 4G LTE hubs.

In a November 2022 posting, DCC Chief Technology Officer Mike Hewitt reported that a 4G hub was in development and that mass deployment would follow once it has been proven.

The go-live of the 4G service is slated for December 2024, when energy suppliers should be able to start testing and verification with a small number, up to about 9,000 hubs.

The mass rollout is then projected to start in July 2025, with suppliers able to determine their individual paces for their 4G transition.

Toscana Energia takes next step in gas network digitalisation Wed, 02 Aug 2023 07:33:00 +0000 Italgas subsidiary Toscana Energia is introducing the in-house developed Digital Advanced Network Automation (DANA) control system at its distribution plants.

The DANA system is being introduced first at the company’s San Casciano distribution plant, close to the city of Florence, before wider implementation across others.

DANA, a proprietary software that was developed within Italgas’s Digital Factory, is designed to provide operators with a real-time overview of the gas distribution system, in order to enable timely verification of the functioning of all the components and their direct remote management.

A cartographic system incorporated in the software also allows navigation of the individual segments of the network.

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Operational data collected from the field feeds into analytics and predictive maintenance algorithms, which allow operating anomalies to be identified and new approaches to the operation and maintenance of distribution assets to be introduced.

“The digital transformation of networks is the technical precondition that allows them to accommodate and manage renewable gases, such as biomethane and hydrogen, whose production is expected to develop strongly in the coming years,” Toscana Energia states in a statement.

Toscana Energia manages the gas distribution service in 101 municipalities in nine provinces in central and southwestern Tuscany, including Florence and Pisa, supplying over 752,000 residential and 43,000 commercial and industrial customers.

The digitalisation of the networks is a key focus of the company, and Italgas as a whole, and over 99% of residential customers are reported to have the latest generation smart gas meters.

The long term goal with DANA, which is planned to be extended to half of Toscana Energia’s plants within the year, is to provide remote management of the gas networks and plants for the delivery of green gas mixtures to the end customers safely and efficiently.

PSE&G reaches 1 million smart meter milestone Wed, 02 Aug 2023 06:22:43 +0000 New Jersey utility Public Service Electric & Gas Co. (PSE&G) has announced a key milestone passed with the installation of its millionth smart meter.

The smart meter programme, which began in early 2021, is replacing 2.3 million existing electricity meters with new smart meters at residential and commercial customer premises across the service territory.

Completion is expected by the end of 2024.

“We are very excited to realise this important accomplishment because it means that we are getting closer to our goal of making smart meters available to all of our electric customers,” said Dave Johnson, Vice President Customer Care and Chief Customer Officer.

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“There are already more than 110 million smart meters installed across the United States, so it’s great news that PSE&G electric customers will soon also have access to the benefits that smart meters provide.”

The smart meters that PSE&G is installing are a key piece of the utility’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).

Benefits anticipated over time include more information for customers about how they use energy and the elimination of almost all estimated bills as well as near real-time power outage detection and more efficient power restoration following storms.

As smart meter work continues through 2024, installation timing will depend on customers’ geographic location as technicians continue to make their way through the service territory.

The 2.3 million smart meters are being supplied by Landis+Gyr in a 10-year agreement concluded in July 2021, which includes the network infrastructure and associated software and services connected to the Connect AMI platform.

PSE&G is New Jersey’s largest provider of electricity and natural gas services. In addition to the 2.3 million electricity customers, it supplies 1.9 million gas customers.

Bangladesh to instal 1.2 million prepaid gas meters Tue, 01 Aug 2023 06:34:16 +0000 Prepaid gas meters are among the initiatives to address gas losses and leakage in Bangladesh’s gas transmission and distribution networks.

The project, which has been awarded $300 million by the World Bank, will see the prepaid gas meters installed in the capital Dhaka and the Rajshahi Division in the west of the country.

Among these, 1.1 million prepaid meters will be deployed in Greater Dhaka covering just over half of the residential customers of Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Limited.

The balance of 128,000 prepaid meters will be deployed in the Rajshahi division, covering the entire residential customer base of Pashchimanchal Gas Company Limited (PGCL).

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In addition, a pilot with up to about 60 larger industrial users in the two companies’ service areas will be implemented to demonstrate the viability of smart meters to better monitor and manage gas use in the industrial sector.

A Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Geographic Information System also will be installed on PGCL’s network to improve gas flow monitoring and help reduce methane leaks and ultimately contribute to a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

With all its customers having gas meters, the company will have better visibility on the flows of gas in its networks and report gas losses more accurately and thus be able to better target leakage reduction.

“Bangladesh’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emission comes from the oil and gas sector,” comments Sameh I. Mobarek, World Bank Senior Energy Specialist and Team Leader for the project.

“Prepaid gas meters and advanced monitoring systems will help optimise natural gas end-use, mitigate methane leakages and lead to lower gas bills for the households and industrial users.”

Natural gas accounted for two-thirds of primary energy consumption in Bangladesh in 2021 and over half of the power generation capacity.

Methane leakages in the oil and gas value chain amount to an estimated 257kt, which is roughly equivalent to 7.7Mt of CO2.

The decision to implement prepaid metering follows an earlier pilot of 200,000 prepaid meters conducted by Titas Gas, which was launched in 2015 and found that the system seemed to have successfully increased consumer awareness in combating waste of natural gas, thus creating the potential for savings in residential consumption.

The project will finance technical assistance to detect CO2 and methane emission sources along the natural gas value chain and identify and prioritise opportunities to abate emissions in existing facilities and infrastructure.

It will also help develop emissions monitoring, reporting and verification protocols and regulatory frameworks for sustained carbon abatement in the energy value chain that can then be implemented through investment with public and private climate financing.

Kraken partnership enables Portsmouth Water to start smart meter rollout Fri, 28 Jul 2023 10:20:32 +0000 Portsmouth Water has become the first water utility to join the Kraken platform, a move they state will allow them to start their smart meter rollout.

Portsmouth Water, which oversees Portsmouth and its surrounding area, has adopted Kraken, a tech platform and subsidiary of UK renewables major Octopus Energy, to oversee all of its 324,000 customers.

The partnership marks Kraken’s first deal outside of energy and a move towards digitising the UK’s water sector.

According to the partners, Portsmouth’s use of the Kraken Tech platform will allow the company to start its smart meter rollout and drive down per capita consumption within the water-stressed region, an important regulatory target for the water industry.

According to Kraken, there are three ways in which the platform will enable this:

  • Roll-out sequencing – Kraken’s ability to store and interrogate customer data (such as on engagement, consumption and priority services) and property data (occupancy, size and third party attributes like valuation) will enable Portsmouth Water to define their optimal smart meter roll-out sequence
  • Smart meter journey – Customers will be able to opt-in for a smart meter via mobile app and a consumer portal, allowing them to book and manage installation appointments themselves
  • Consumption rates and leakages down – The platform, according to Kraken, will unlock the benefits of a smart meter for both customers and the water system by enabling consumption awareness and nudging reductions in consumption by exporting smart meter data to customers

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Commenting on the partnership, Bob Taylor, CEO of Portsmouth Water, said: “We are thrilled to be the first non-energy utility to license the Kraken platform, which we believe will provide our customers with a more efficient and transparent service, meanwhile ensuring our systems are safe and secure.

“Most vitally, Kraken will allow us to supercharge the smart meter rollout in the water industry and will help our customers understand their consumption and identify leaks quickly and easily.”

According to Kraken, when it comes to managing supply, their platform provides an operating system extending to meter data management, a customer information system, billing, customer relationship management, customer interaction and AI-powered communication and automation.

Deepak Ravindran, CEO of Kraken for Utilities, added how, through the partnership, “Portsmouth Water will be able to unlock new levels of efficiency and benefit from a formula that has seen countless energy companies improve their relationships with customers and regulators.”

Portsmouth Water smart meter rollout.
Ravindran, Taylor and Matthew Hamilton, chief customer officer at Portsmouth Water. Image courtesy Portsmouth Water.

Portsmouth Water expects to install an additional 43,300 smart meters in the 2025-30 period, which should deliver water savings of 2.5Ml/d by March 2030.

Earlier this year in June, the UK’s water services authority Ofwat granted funding for an acceleration of smart water schemes. One such includes 500 smart meters to trial as part of Portsmouth Water’s programme alongside the supporting infrastructure for a wider rollout, including a meter data management system, cloud storage infrastructure, software and system implementation and integration.

Smart Energy Finances: AMI provider acquires a narrowband communications solution Fri, 28 Jul 2023 08:42:21 +0000 This week’s Smart Energy Finances looks at the announcement of an acquisition of a New Zealand-based communication solutions developer by an AMI and IoT provider. The acquisition will create a new entity and communications platform for utilities to improve the performance of critical infrastructure.

Also on the radar are announcements of a ‘resilient’ business model based on smart meter-generated revenue for Smart Metering Systems (SMS), growth financing for a smart meter data analysis provider and a €3 billion ($3.9 billion) scheme for cleantech companies in Germany.

AMI provider Ubiik acquires Mimomax Wireless

Taiwan-based Ubiik, an IoT and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) provider, has acquired New Zealand-based Mimomax Wireless, a provider of communication solutions for narrowband channels.

The acquisition is being touted as an acceleration of Ubiik’s market expansion.

The new combined entity, which has not yet been named, aims to bring new wireless solutions to market, providing communications for utilities and critical infrastructure.

According to the Taiwanese provider, their current business is on track to exceed 1 million AMI device deployments by 2024, citing the “coverage limitations of existing public LTE networks that impede utilities’ AMI deployments” as the prime challenge they seek a solution towards, the company stated in a joint press release announcing the acquisition.

Since 2007, Mimomax Wireless established itself as a manufacturer of radios utilising Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO) technology.

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The Kiwi company caters to utilities, stakeholders within the energy sectors and governments among others. Their communications solutions, states Mimomax, optimises data throughput and enables near-real-time visibility of critical assets.

Commenting on the announcement was Tienhaw Peng, founder and CEO of Ubiik, who stated how the acquisition “injects additional momentum into our collective growth. In tandem, we’re poised to boost the performance, security and cost-effectiveness of critical networks.”

Ubiik states how the merger will allow for an array of new solutions for mission and business-critical communications. For example, existing US utility customers who have deployed Mimomax products in the narrowband 700MHz Upper Block A can now leverage their spectrum acquisition by adding Ubiik’s goRAN NB-IoT Band 103 as a retrofit.

This opportunity, adds the AMI provider, offers the ability to connect smart meters and IoT devices for “a fraction of the cost of deploying new pLTE infrastructure”.

SMS’s ‘resilient’ smart metering business model

Glasgow-based smart meter and carbon reduction asset developer Smart Metering Systems (SMS) has, within its H1 2023 trading update and outlook report, reported 13.3% revenue growth.

Specifically, the Scottish clean tech company’s Index-linked Annualised Recurring Revenue (ILARR), a referral to revenue generated from meter rental and data contracts, grew from £97.1 million ($125.4 million) at the close of December 2022 to £110 million ($142 million) as of June 30, 2023.

The company’s CEO, Tim Mortlock, commented on the growth, citing the ‘resilience’ of their model:

“We have delivered another strong operational and financial performance during H1 2023, a testament to the resilient nature of our business model which is underpinned by our index-linked recurring revenues.

“Our existing pipeline of meter and grid-scale battery assets is expected to more than double the Group’s EBITDA in c.4 years compared to FY 2022, with significant additional growth opportunities in existing and developing CaRe assets.”

Within the first half of 2023, the company SMS installed 220,000 smart meters and has maintained market share of 14%.

According to the report, their engineering capacity delivered higher volumes of activity, largely driven by transactional callout services alongside a higher proportion of single fuel installations.

The Group also increased its engineering capacity and expects meter installation run-rate to accelerate as a result.

When it comes to financing, the Group claims its current pipeline of smart meters and grid-scale batteries can be fully funded from asset-backed, internally-generated cash flows and debt facilities.

The Group is also considering asset recycling to maintain a “prudent level of gearing in the medium term and to support future growth”, they state in the release.

Also from Smart Energy Finances:
Funding for autonomous EV charging and GridBeyond’s acquisition of Veritone Energy
Enel divests 50% of Australian renewable operations to Japanese oil and gas giant

Expansion financing for a smart meter data analysis provider

CIBC Innovation Banking has increased its growth financing commitment to Bidgely, a provider of AI-powered energy intelligence solutions for energy providers worldwide.

The additional financing commitment of $18 million – 2020 saw Bidgely secure $8 million from the same company – will strengthen Bidgely’s ability to support critical utility initiatives, namely within the EV and grid modernisation markets.

Bidgely’s UtilityAI analyses smart meter data to provide appliance-level insights into daily energy consumption, giving utilities insights into energy usage patterns and anticipated grid loads.

Bidgely touts its platform’s ability to coordinate accurate grid planning and load forecasting, together with the ability to better manage the influx of EVs on the grid through optimised time of use, load shifting and managed charging.

“Utilities around the world rely on Bidgely’s artificial intelligence-powered energy solution to guide their clients to smart energy decisions,” said Amy Olah, managing director of CIBC Innovation Banking. “Our continued support speaks to Bidgely’s success and our commitment to back innovative software companies across North America throughout their growth journey.”

€3bn for German low-carbon tech – batteries, heat pumps and more

The European Commission has approved a €3 billion ($3.9bn) German scheme under the Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework to support private investments in low-carbon assets for the country’s transition to net zero.

The scheme, touted as in line with the tenets of the proposed Green Deal Industrial Plan, will take the form of direct grants, tax advantages, subsidised interest rates and guarantees on new loans for companies producing low-carbon technologies.

Said companies will include those with business in battery energy storage, heat pumps, electrolysers, wind turbines, solar panel, CCUS and key components needed to produce such tech or related critical raw materials necessary for their production.

The aid will be meted out by 31 December 2025.

For the latest finance and investment news coming out of the energy sector, make sure to follow Smart Energy Finances Weekly.

Yusuf Latief
Content Producer
Smart Energy International

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Kamstrup partners with Emirates District Cooling on cooling meter innovation Fri, 28 Jul 2023 07:47:46 +0000 Kamstrup is partnering with Emirates District Cooling (Emicool) to develop advancements in cooling meter technology.

The two companies, already long-term partners, plan to bring further intelligence and other innovations to Kamstrup’s Multical range of ultrasonic cooling meters for district cooling systems.

Previously a key challenge identified by Emicool’s customers was managing cooling energy in vacant spaces and buildings, leading to the introduction of a thermal disconnect function and enabling more efficient and effective cooling energy management.

“This collaboration represents a significant milestone in Emicool’s commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions that enhance energy efficiency and sustainability in the cooling sector,” said Dr Adib Moubadder, Chief Executive Officer.

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“This partnership is set to redefine the landscape of cooling meter technology. By combining our strengths, we aim to accelerate innovation and pave the way for more intelligent, precise, and environmentally friendly cooling measurement systems.”

Emicool is a Dubai-based provider of district cooling services in the UAE with almost one-third of the market.

Its growing district cooling network currently includes 20 district cooling plants delivering a total of 355,000t of refrigeration and serving approximately 42,000 customers.

The company aims to grow its capacity to over 500,000t of refrigeration over the next five years.

Some of the high-profile development projects on which Kamstrup and Emicool have partnered have included the Dubai Investment Park, Discovery Gardens, Dubai Sports City, Dubai Motor City, Dubai Cultural Village and Dubai Mirdif Uptown.

The Middle East and North Africa with their hot climatic conditions dominate the district cooling energy market and are expected to continue to do so into the future with the growing commercial and residential sectors.

Like electricity smart meters, smart cooling meters offer remote reading of consumption data and data on the distribution network, as well as the opportunity for sub-metering.

The new partnership between Kamstrup and Emicool is to extend over five years.

Britain’s retail energy market under the spotlight Fri, 28 Jul 2023 06:21:14 +0000 The GB government has set out proposed plans to boost competition and innovation in the country’s energy retail market.

The proposals, which are made in the wake of the massive increase in prices sparked by the global energy crisis, are aimed to give consumers more choices of products and services with increased competition among suppliers.

While there has been some innovation in products and business models in the retail market, this has been limited and the uptake of new services has historically been low, according to the government in a new vision document.

Across the market, the vast majority of tariffs only differ by the price charged for using energy and the length of time that price is guaranteed, with the implication for consumers being a very limited set of choices in the market, with little opportunity for finding products or services suited to their individual needs.

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Furthermore, the relative prices of gas and electricity do not accurately reflect their respective carbon intensities, resulting in price signals that are insufficient to incentivise the degree of system-wide electrification required to reach net zero.

Consumers should have access to a far greater range of products and services, better tailored to their individual needs, the document continues. At the same time, retailers that can seize the opportunity to offer greater overall value to their customers should be well-placed to grow and secure sustainable levels of profit.

The document recognises the need to strike the right balance between competition and regulation, with the promise of the removal where possible of regulatory barriers to competition that are not in the interest of consumers.

It also states that a total overhaul of the regulatory framework is not appropriate but instead, a programme of targeted reforms is necessitated.

To this end, a ‘call for evidence’ has been issued in parallel, on aspects of the current retail market framework that act as barriers or enablers for innovation, or that might prevent the retail market from supporting system transformation, as well as on some wider considerations such as consumer protections and arrangements for handling supplier exits among others.

The document notes that by the mid-2020s there should be further expansion of the smart meter rollout, the implementation of market-wide half-hourly settlement, new technical standards for energy smart appliances and tariffs, as well as the continued growth in intermittent renewable generation and electrification of heat and transport.

It concludes: “Smarter technologies, tariffs, and services will empower consumers to take advantage of the new choices they face in the market and enable them to benefit from adjusting their energy usage to better align with the availability of low-carbon electricity. In a well-designed future market, there will be opportunities for all consumers to benefit from these changes, regardless of their level of engagement, energy needs, or income.”

Presenting the proposals, Amanda Solloway, Minister for Energy Consumers and Affordability, said it was about putting power back in the hands of consumers, “giving them greater options to cut their energy bills in a market fit for the future. Today, I’m calling on industry to work with us, and take up the opportunities of investing in low carbon technologies and providing a first-class customer service.”

Smart grids and digitalisation – more effort needed says IEA Mon, 24 Jul 2023 05:58:41 +0000 More effort is needed on smart grids and digitalisation, the IEA’s Tracking Clean Energy Progress 2023 update has reported.

Countries are increasingly preparing their infrastructure for digitalisation and several major economies have announced substantial new funding to modernise and digitalise their electricity grids.

However, further efforts by policymakers and industry will be necessary to realise the full potential of digitalisation to accelerate the clean energy transition, including the implementation of standards, policies and regulations that prioritise innovation and interoperability while addressing risks to cybersecurity and data privacy.

The IEA’s Tracking Clean Energy Progress annually assesses recent developments for over 50 components of the energy system against its ‘net zero by 2050’ scenario trajectory for 2030.

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The report states that grid-related investment in digital technologies has grown by over 50% since 2015, and is expected to reach 19% of total grid investment in 2023.

There is an increasing focus on the distribution segment, which now represents more than 75% of the total digital spend. There has also been a substantial upswing in investment in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, which doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year.

However, overall investment in smart grids needs to more than double through 2030 – from around US$300 billion/year currently to almost US$600 billion/year – to get on track with the ‘net zero emissions’ scenario, especially in emerging markets and developing economies.

The number of smart power meters worldwide exceeded 1 billion in 2022, a tenfold increase since 2010. However, for the first time in a decade, investment slightly decreased, reflecting the plateauing deployment rate as many countries achieve close to full or full rollout.

Meanwhile, connected devices with automated controls and sensors are expected to reach 13 billion in 2023, up from fewer than 1 billion a decade ago. This number could reach more than 25 billion in 2030.

Similar trends are being seen in power grids, with around 320 million distribution sensors deployed globally.

Digitalisation progress

Notable progress in developing digitalisation in 2022 included the European Union with its action plan and the UK with its ‘digital spine’ feasibility study,

The European Commission expects about €584 billion (US$650 billion) of investments in the European electricity grid by 2030, of which €170 billion would be for digitalisation, including smart meters and other digital technologies.

Other examples of recent major grid investments are China with US$442 billion in the period 2021-205, Japan with US$155 billion and India with INR3.03 trillion (US$28 billion).

In North America, in 2022 the US announced the Grid Resilience Innovative Partnership programme with $10.5 billion in funding and Canada is investing US$100 million through its smart grid programme.

Among the needs looking ahead, the report states that further progress is needed on smart EV charging to tap into the major flexibility potential of the growing EV fleet.

At the end of 2022, there were 2.7 million public charging points worldwide, more than 900,000 of which were installed in 2022, an increase of about 55% on 2021 stock. However, only a fraction of these have smart charging capabilities.

If made grid interactive, other technologies such as heat pumps and air conditioners could also provide flexibility.

To get in step with the ‘net zero’ scenario, the global inventory of flexible assets needs to increase tenfold by 2030, which means that all sources of flexibility – including batteries and demand response – need to be leveraged.

Enabling digital technologies such as smart meters and distributed monitoring and control devices are essential to fully exploit the flexibility potential of the growing number of connected devices.

In addition to ramping up deployment of key digital technologies, existing data and digital assets need to be better utilised to provide benefits for consumers and the energy system.

In 2019, it was estimated that utilities were leveraging only around 2-4% of the data collected.

The report also points out the importance of international collaboration programmes for smart grids as a key enabler for their sustainable development, while also large scale interconnectors are highlighted as of vital importance for decarbonisation in certain regions such as the EU, sub-Saharan Africa and China.

GB smart meters save an estimated 1Mt of carbon annually finds DCC Thu, 20 Jul 2023 08:55:00 +0000 Britain’s Data Communications Company (DCC) has estimated the country’s smart meters have now passed the 1Mt/year carbon saving milestone.

This number is higher than anticipated and is equivalent to taking a million cars off the road or avoiding the burning of 500,000 tonnes of coal, according to the DCC.

The research draws on the recent smart meter impact study for the government, which found that the energy savings were higher than expected, at 3.4% for electricity and almost 3% for gas.

Adopting these figures and applying them across the 16.5 million properties on the DCC’s network, the organisation further estimates that when applied to the current energy price cap, homes and small businesses have the potential to save £770 million (US$993 million) annually collectively.

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“We are delighted to have reached this milestone, which shows the power of collective action on climate change. Small changes in homes across the nation are adding up to power station sized savings,” says DCC Chief Operating Officer, Penny Brown.

“The DCC network is transferring the vital data needed to make the most of renewables on our energy grid. At the DCC our purpose is to make Britain more connected so we can all live smarter, greener lives.”

Rollout update

The DCC’s latest data indicates that there are 16.04 million SMETS2 meters and almost 11.5 million SMETS1 meters totalling almost 27.5 million smart meters and covering more than half of homes connected to the DCC network, with the daily connection rate averaging around 15,000.

The government Department for Energy Security and Net Zero’s latest statistics to the end of March 2023 record a total of 32.4 million smart and advanced meters – 57% of all meters – with 29.4 million operating in smart mode in Britain.

The latest data from Electralink indicates that after a slowing in new smart meter installations early in 2023 the number has increased subsequently and the latest for the month of June of 209,000 installations is now above the 2022 monthly average of 197,000.

Nevertheless, for the first half of 2023, the 1.153 million installations is still down on the 1.181 million in the first half of 2022.

Despite the increase, suppliers are facing challenges in meeting the rollout targets, set to achieve full rollout by the end of 2025, a major one being a skills shortage.

The smart meters transmit energy readings every 30 minutes to the DCC’s network and this data is automatically shared with energy suppliers and grid operators, to provide them with a near real-time understanding of energy usage and enable them to utilise it to incentivise demand flexibility.

Spain’s Canal de Isabel II awards 315,000 smart water meters contract Tue, 18 Jul 2023 05:23:57 +0000 Madrid public water utility Canal de Isabel II is to be supplied with 315,000 smart meters with NB-IoT connectivity by Vodafone Spain.

The project, with a value of more than €25 million (US$28 million) over the next five years, forms part of a broader initiative by Canal de Isabel II to digitalise its activities, including providing remote meter reading with more than 1.6 million meters across its service territory by 2026.

The meters in Vodafone’s lot will be supplied by Sagemcom, and will collect meter readings hourly for delivery on a daily basis.

This will significantly improve the data availability and billing, with the meters read currently only every two months.

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The award is the latest in Canal de Isabel II’s plans to implement smart metering, which began over a decade ago.

In 2017 a pilot was implemented with Vodafone, Telefónica and Orange and demonstrated the feasibility of NB-IoT for remote water meter reading, with the meters commonly in locations such as basements or underground meter rooms without an electricity supply.

Canal de Isabel II awarded the first smart meter contract for a 130,000 unit rollout to Telefónica and the Spanish metering provider Contazara at the end of 2021.

Remote meter reading with the first 50,000 customers was launched in February 2023.

In March, Orange and Spanish water meter supplier Hidroconta were awarded a contract to digitalise more than 100,000 smart meters, including the supply of 9,000 concentrators, for Canal de Isabel II.

“The remote reading of water meters is an important part of the digital transformation of the management of the water cycle, which should allow a much more responsible and sustainable use of a scarce resource,” said Gabriel Aparicio, head of billing and responsible for the project in Canal de Isabel II.

“With it, it will be possible to offer end users a better service thanks to real-time knowledge of their consumption, in addition to additional benefits such as remote management of smart meters, automatic leak detection, etc.”

Vodafone reports its water metering solution as a comprehensive offering for the collection and delivery of meter data, including a middleware/device manager as a single tool for connectivity and data collection, as well as a range of tools for configuration and visualisation.

Indian electricity supplier GSEDPL wins order for 7.6m smart meters Mon, 17 Jul 2023 10:10:57 +0000 A new order under the country’s Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme will see 7.6 million prepaid smart meters installed in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

GMR Smart Electricity Distribution Pvt Ltd (GSEDPL), a subsidiary of the GMR Group subsidiary GMR Power and Urban Infra Limited, has received a Letter of Intent (LOI) from the Indian Government to install and maintain almost 7.6 million prepaid smart meters.

The LOI will see GSEDPL implement the smart metering project in the Purvanchal (Varanasi, Azamgarh zone and Prayagraj, Mirzapur zone) and Dakshinanchal (Agra and Aligarh zone) areas of Uttar Pradesh for the respective distribution companies Purvanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd and Dakshinanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd.

They will install, integrate and maintain 75.69 lakh (7.569 million) smart meters in the given areas under the LOI over the next 10 years.

The LOI was issued in conclusion to an e-tender for different areas of Uttar Pradesh; GSEDPL participated and emerged as a winner.

An advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) project, the LOI extends to supply, installation, integration, commissioning and operation and maintenance of the smart meters.

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The project with a value of Rs75.93 billion (US$928 million) will be executed under the Indian Government’s Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS), which has two major components:

  1. Financial support for prepaid smart and system metering, as well as upgrading distribution infrastructure
  2. Training and capacity building alongside other enabling and supporting activities.

The smart meter rollout is expected to reduce AT&C (aggregate technical and commercial losses) in the designated areas and improve the operational and collection efficiencies of the two Uttar Pradesh discoms.

Additionally, as reported by Mint, the announcement saw the company’s shares spike by 20% and, on the technical front, their stock price rose 17% with the order and outperformed the sector by 16.1% in the past year.

The order is the latest from the country’s government, which has been greenlighting a slew of smart meter orders to enhance the electricity system.

The same week as the issuance of the LOI, Tata Power announced their win of an order for 1.86 million smart meters in eastern central India.

Also in Uttar Pradesh, earlier this year in April, smart metering company IntelliSmart won an order for 6.7 million smart meters, claiming the largest order of its kind the country had seen.

Updated 24 July 2023

US announces funding opportunity for AMI-enhanced grid reliability projects Mon, 17 Jul 2023 09:20:13 +0000 AMI offers a ‘tsunami of data’ for grid reliability investment

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a notice of intent to issue a $4 million funding opportunity announcement. In particular, solutions tapping into the ‘tsunami of data’ offered by advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) to enhance grid reliability will be eligible.

The new funding will fall under the Sensor Data Analytics Demonstrations Funding group.

The FOA (funding opportunity announcement) aims to enhance grid reliability and resilience given the availability of advanced data collection and analysis to develop the grid of the future.

In a press release announcing the FOA, the DOE states how “the tsunami of data from the Advanced Metering Infrastructure, specifically, as well as sensors with fast-streaming data sets, have challenged the traditional methods of utility data acquisition, use and storage.”

The FOA seeks to establish a portfolio of projects that demonstrate the different geographic, economic and climate conditions that help assess the deployment of advanced sensor technologies.

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The DOE encourages demonstrations and direct partnerships with data providers and power sector utilities to help ensure that analytics support planning and operations decisions.

Awarded projects will include both Research and Development (R&D) and Demonstration tasks.

“The electric power industry is witnessing an explosive growth in the volume, variety, and velocity of utility data,” said Gene Rodrigues, Assistant Secretary for Electricity. “We will need the data and analysis to accelerate pathways towards our grid modernization goals.”

This is the latest from the US DOE to encourage the use of AMI within grid planning.

Earlier this year, according to a Wood Mackenzie-published Utility investment in grid modernization report, 25 investor-owned utilities in the US filed for $36.4 billion of investment into grid modernisation; AMI was a major focus for the call.

According to their research report, AMI and distributed hardening represented, at the time of the reports release, 80% of grid investment in the country.