Smart submetering to pilot in Germany

Smart submetering to pilot in Germany
From l. Arkadius Jarek, Head of Metering Point Operations, Netze BW, Dr Christoph Müller, Chairman of the Management Board, Netze BW, Ralf Görner, Managing Director, Minol Messtechnik, Alexander Lehmann, CEO, Minol-ZENNER Group and Joachim Kopp, Managing Director, aktive EMT GmbH. Image Credit: Netze BW

German network operator Netze BW is partnering to pilot the transmission of heat submetering data via the smart meter gateway.

In partnership with the real estate billing service provider Minol Zenner and metering system developer aktiver EMT, Netze is planning to pilot the submetering solution with housing industry customers in the state of Baden-Württemberg.

According to the Heating Cost Ordinance (HKVO), which regulates the billing of heating and hot water in multi-unit dwellings, since December 1, 2022 only measurement technology that can be securely connected to the Smart Meter Gateway may be installed for submetering.

Drawing on the technologies in the respective companies’ portfolios, the three intend in the pilot to digitise via the Smart Meter Gateway’s secure communication channel the entire submetering process from consumption recording to billing.

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“For Netze BW, this new project within the framework of our cooperation is an important step towards developing new digital business models around the rollout of intelligent metering systems in our role as the basic metering point operator,” says CEO Dr Christoph Müller.

“By digitising metering, we can offer our customers additional services with great added value.”

Examples include the provision of data in real time and consumption control via the metering system, while for Netze BW new business models include variable tariffs and energy monitoring and management.

The companies have a long history of collaboration and as far back as 2018 Netze BW and Minol Zinner technically combined submetering with metering.

With Germany’s smart metering now mandatory and the rollout expected to accelerate, demand for such submetering solutions also is expected to increase.

With the latest provisions in the HKVO, the foundation also is laid for closer collaboration between the smart meter and submetering service providers.

LoRaWAN roaming pilot

Alongside the smart submetering pilot, Netze BW and Minol Zenner also have agreed to launch a one-year pilot to share their individual LoRaWAN networks on a free basis.

Such a roaming agreement is a first in Germany and the project aims to test operations in a real world setting and to define the necessary process flows.

With LoRaWAN the foundation for the Internet of Things (IoT), such roaming opportunities should lead to more efficient use of the resources as the demand for IoT applications grows and rapid expansion of the LoRaWAN network is necessitated.

Dr. Hartmut Ritter, managing director of Minol ZENNER Connect, says that as part of the cooperation with Netze BW, the company is bundling competencies with the long-term goal of establishing Germany and Europe-wide roaming in the LoRaWAN® network with various partners.

“Digitisation stands and falls with the development and expansion of communication networks as well as the availability of connectivity. Together with Netze BW, we are setting a milestone here.”

Netze BW is the largest network company for electricity, gas and water in Baden-Württemberg.