After a turbulent year for energy companies, what lessons can the sector learn from the smart meter rollout? Simon Egan, managing director UK, Ireland and Netherlands at Landis+Gyr believes the devices have a key role in helping millions of consumers who have shifted to home working take control of their energy use. Egan further describes how innovative new finance models are helping smaller suppliers increase their market share of meters.
Smart electricity meters have become key devices within the Internet of Things. Connected to utilities’ systems and platforms, they collect, deliver, and analyze data to manage energy better. Reliable cellular and secure communication technology is essential here. Finding the right partner and set-up can be a complex undertaking.
Having built up our presence in the Netherlands over the last two decades, Landis+Gyr has become one of the leading energy management solutions provider in the country, and a strategic partner of Dutch grid operators. Our solutions have been at the center of the large scale SMR5 smart meter rollout. As the rollout moves into a next phase at the beginning of 2021, we will extend our relationship and contract with major grid operators, Stedin and Alliander, to deliver smart meters for consumers, thereby supporting the energy transition.
A key challenge in the digitization of the energy industry is to build and manage intelligent infrastructures that are flexible, efficient, and secure. This, however, changes the way and the scope of a utility’s work: the deployment, operation, and development of a smart metering system with devices, communication, software, and possible additional applications might be opening up gaps when it comes to time, resources and skills. This is where an As-a-Service approach comes into play.
The life expectancy of a smart meter is round about 15 years. In today’s fast-changing world, a lot can happen during that lifetime. 15 years ago, there were no smart phones, voice assistants or smart homes, no WhatsApp or Bitcoin. These innovations changed the world and everything around them adapted. Also, in the energy industry, things are moving rapidly. Ambitious targets to reduce CO2 emissions and the need to grow the share of renewable energy sources or the number of EV charging facilities push for faster technological developments in the space of efficient and secure energy management.