In late 2017, more than a quarter of a million homes in the Austrian state of Styria will receive some of the most advanced smart electricity meters in the world, after Landis+Gyr won a tender to supply a consortium of Austrian utility providers with 330,000 E450 G3 power line communication (PLC) smart meters.
The consortium, made up of Energie Steiermark, Energie Graz, Feistritzwerke Steweag and the service company Energy Services, represents 26 small and medium-sized energy utilities in the south of Austria. Earlier this year, the consortium signed a cooperation agreement for the delivery, support, training and maintenance of smart metering to the region of Styria.
“This project will inject up to €150 million into the local economy,” says Christian Purrer, speaker of the board at Energie Steiermark. “And, in addition, it will create more than 200 jobs over the course of its 3-year installation phase. The ‘inner life’ of these smart meters was developed right here in Austria, and in the coming years we will be rolling out new products and new tariffs, to offer our customers more flexibility and also take better advantage of savings, together. These smart meters mark the beginning of a new era, away from the old model of provider and consumer and into a new age of energy partnership.”
“The consortium is looking forward to working with Landis+Gyr,” says Martin Graf, Board Member at Energie Stieiermark. “Their smart meters will help us achieve our project goals including interoperability and security. The Landis+Gyr smart meters stand out from the competition as they run on G3 PLC technology which enables fast, secure and cost-efficient communication over existing power lines. In addition to this, the meter is IDIS-certified. Installing thoroughly tested interoperable products based on open standards is central to building a truly interoperable environment.”
During the tender process Landis+Gyr demonstrated the G3 PLC benefits for members of the consortium, highlighting its capabilities in the most important use cases. The E450 meter has been tested and certified according to Interoperable Device Interface Specifications (IDIS) package 2.0 and conforms to open international interoperability standards, ensuring seamless integration into a utility business system.
“Our smart meters will help Energie Steiermark and its partners to improve their network technology and further develop smart metering in Austria,” says Helmut Scherzer, Sales Manager Landis+Gyr Austria. “We were the first company in EMEA to receive the G3 Alliance certification for our smart electricity meters. We know how important IDIS interface specifications are to the utility industry because they allow for long-term investments to be made with confidence: interoperability is guaranteed through compliance with international open standards – and our meters can grow hand-in-hand with ever-changing technology.”
In April 2012, the Austrian Ministry for Economy, Family and Youth passed a new law stipulating that 95 percent of the country’s meters must be ‘smart’ by the year 2019. The act was passed as a response to the framework set out in the EU’s 3rd Energy Package, which sets the goal of at least 80 percent of European households fitted with smart metering by the year 2020.