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Smart metering enhances customer service

Landis+Gyr’s smart metering solution Gridstream provides Järvi-Suomen Energia with advanced tools for the development of customer service and innovative products.  New energy management tools enable end-users to monitor their energy consumption on an hourly basis. 

The long-standing collaboration between Järvi-Suomen Energia Oy and Landis+Gyr started a new chapter when the utility company decided to convert all of its 100,000 customers to smart metering during 2011-2013. Some 20,000 of the utility’s customers already had Landis+Gyr smart meters installed and the metering data was initially managed by the utility’s own employees using the Gridstream AIM system.

When Järvi-Suomen Energia set out to expand smart metering services to all of its customers, the company laid out stringent requirements for both the smart metering solution and its provider. They wanted to source a large-scale and cost-effective solution from an experienced partner, whose offering would cover the entire project lifecycle from advanced meters to project management and meter reading services. They set high standards for the technical aspects of the solution: it had to meet strict lifecycle reliability requirements and the operational model had to support both customer service and network maintenance processes. Requirements also included easy adaptability to future technologies. Furthermore, Järvi-Suomen Energia needed a multi-energy solution: a system that can be easily extended to measure the consumption and to process the metering data of district heat and water, too.

Comprehensive solution to meet future needs

Landis+Gyr’s product and service portfolio met Järvi-Suomen Energia’s requirements, and the long-standing and fruitful collaboration with JärviSuomen Energia continues in a largescale AMM implementation. Also the technological requirements were met: the smart metering system architecture is flexible and open, and it leverages the latest industry standards. Open interfaces ensure the future flexibility of the system and enables easy connectivity with new systems. Furthermore, the Landis+Gyr solution supports a wide variety of communication technologies. The choice of supplier was also influenced by Landis+Gyr’s ability to offer longterm high-quality meter reading, operation and maintenance services, as well as the previous project management experience on large-scale smart metering projects.

The smart metering solution chosen by Järvi-Suomen Energia includes the delivery of 80,000 new meters. This cost-effective solution was acquired as an extensive package, in which Landis+Gyr is responsible for project planning, delivery of smart meters and software, training and the integrations to the customer IT systems. In addition, the solution includes meter reading services until 2018, and it will also cover the company’s existing smart meters and meter reading database. As part of the meter reading service, Järvi-Suomen Energia will receive hourly metering data on a daily basis to its customer information system. Also, the utility will be provided with network status reports and power quality information.

Smart metering enhances customer service

Järvi-Suomen Energia will use the smart metering data to improve its customer service. “Smart metering offers us many benefits that we want to pass on to our customers. Real-time consumption data will enable us to further improve the quality of our customer service and offer our customers tools that help them better manage their energy usage” says Arto Pajunen, CEO, Järvi-Suomen Energia Oy.

Smart metering allows the utility to provide its customers with clear, consumption-based invoices that help the customers to control their energy usage and thereby see immediate savings on their bills. Moreover, the customers will no longer have to report their meter readings to the utility company. Moving in and moving out readings and rate changes can also be done remotely, thus eliminating the need for meter reader visits.

Smart meters open new avenues for the development of new energy products and services. Utilities can, for instance, offer their customers personal energy management tools, such as web-based services that help customers to identify energy wastage, control their own consumption and benefit the environment for years to come.

“The energy management tools made possible by smart metering have already attracted quite a bit of interest. Our web service allows the customers to monitor their usage on a daily or even an hourly basis” explains Arto Pajunen.

Real-time consumption data will also enhance the quality of customer service in everyday service situations: the easy availability of customer consumption data via utility CIS improves communication with the customer and make service faster.

Improved network management, more efficient processes

In addition to improved customer services, the move to smart metering brings significant benefits to the utilities through more efficient and higher quality internal processes, such as the elimination of all work related to the processing of meter readings. Furthermore, real-time data on electricity quality and network status will improve network maintenance and investment planning. Network and energy supply problems can be addressed at an earlier stage and they can be pinpointed more accurately.

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