When France’s biggest electricity distributor, Enedis, launched the “Linky Project” in 2017 to replace 35 million residential meters with smart meters, they were going beyond EU requirements to set the foundation for the country's future smart grid.
Situated near the iconic Corinth Canal, the sprawling 56,000 square meter production facility at Corinth has had an illustrious history on its way to becoming Landis+Gyr's largest smart manufacturing facility in Europe. Yet it had to show resilience to bounce back from tough market conditions in 2012, for a resurgence in production excellence, social impact and environmental contributions.
The introduction of smart metering impacts every area of a utility's business. Energy supply, network operation, meter readings, customer service and billing are all affected. In order to maximize the benefits of the smart infrastructure, the overall IT architecture serving these adjacent processes should be carefully planned before rolling out AMI. IT plays a significant role also during the smart meter installation phase and can either slow down the rollout or, in the best case, drive it forward.
I recently had the opportunity to review the “Electric Grid Managed Services Report – 2018” published by IHS Markit. There is no question that the report is excellent reading for anyone interested in service business in the energy industry. In their report, IHS Markit describes the key steps of AMI evolution, which inspired me to discuss the steps from the service business perspective.
When joining the Landis+Gyr EMEA organization years ago, I was joining a famous energy meter manufacturer known mainly for its high-quality smart meters and advanced software for collecting metering data. At the time, the term ‘service business’ was not a key word in the organization or in our industry in Europe, except in the Nordic countries where smart metering has been offered as a service since the early 2000's.