How eMeter and Siemens are helping European utilities adapt and thrive

Published: Tue 26 Nov 2013
A blog entry by Smart Grid Watch

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Europe's energy landscape is evolving swiftly -- and, together, Siemens and eMeter are helping European utilities keep up with the changes.

Last month, prior to attending European Utility Week 2013, Siemens and eMeter, a Siemens Business, met with our European customers to revisit their priorities and direction. These utilities are working to understand the dynamic regulatory environment as well as their own internal business needs -- challenges faced by all utilities across Europe. They're also creating technology roadmaps to support business objectives.

For years, eMeter has worked to create a cohesive technology environment that enables utilities to support business drivers and energy consumers. eMeter pays attention to market drivers and communicates the value of data management in blending the IT and OT silos. Since Siemens acquired eMeter, the companies have been merging their solutions to address short- and long-term utility industry challenges:

  • Meter data management, data management and analytics. Although eMeter began as a meter data management solution provider, the company has grown to also offer management and analytics for data from smart metering and the grid. These offerings can adapt quickly to market needs by staying flexible and technology agnostic.
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  • Distribution grid integration. EnergyIP (eMeter's MDM platform) is beginning to integrate into Siemens distribution network to yield even more insights for utility professionals. This means that EnergyIP can help utilities manage data from both smart metering and the distribution grid. For example, eMeter is working with the Siemens Spectrum Power system to merge data models from the control center systems.
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  • Application and services. Utility professionals can solve many existing and emerging issues using EnergyIP applications such as billing (interval, register), revenue assurance via detecting theft and un-billed accounts, analyzing data for outage management, capital planning for transformer loads, load forecasting for demand side management, and customer engagement programs.

That's what eMeter and Siemens have been doing so far -- and here's how these companies are responding to the emerging needs of utilities around the world, including throughout Europe:

  • Managing current and future meter deployments. For utilities that haven't yet deployed smart meters, eMeter provides a foundation for existing meters by improving data visibility for many use cases, such as revenue assurance. Several European utilities have used EnergyIP in pilot projects, and now they're looking to use this platform to manage the deployment of hundreds of thousands electric and gas meters.
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  • Creating data management environments for several types of utilities. Across Europe, distribution system operators, retail suppliers, and integrated utilities are using eMeter solutions. In addition, eMeter manages electricity, gas, and water metering infrastructure. For instance, some utilities are using the settlement application to figure out energy pricing in the wholesale market based on the consumption data. Other companies perform validation and estimations, then send that data to customer information systems, which in turn share it with suppliers.
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  • Enabling IT/OT integration with data visibility and analytics. Utilities use EnergyIP (and its applications) to extract insights that are segmented by user role. The EnergyIP platform can interface with asset management, customer information, and outage management systems to produce a data-sharing stream. Operations managers use these interfaces, along with analytics, to create load profiles and plan future asset performance.
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  • Growing a utility innovation ecosystem. Siemens and eMeter are growing a network of local and regional partners. It has created a partner certification program to ensure that utilities have a consistent experience in any region. This network has a track record of solving key business issues at multiple utilities. For instance, Omnetric Group, a new joint venture between Accenture and Siemens is driving IT/OT convergence.
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  • Developing a foundation to handle renewable and distributed generation. Demand response, network loss, and equipment load monitoring applications are some examples of how eMeter enables an IT infrastructure to manage increased renewable and distributed generation.
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  • Providing customer engagement tools to retail suppliers. eMeter's Energy Engage customer portal can help both utilities and consumers understand energy transactions on an ongoing basis. Energy Engage updates consumption information as needed, and provides utility customer service reps and consumers with a single window into energy usage information.
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  • Supporting professionals throughout the utility industry. Siemens and eMeter have been working with people in every role within utilities: chief information officers, marketing and customer operations managers, data analysts, enterprise and infrastructure architects, smart grid managers, operation managers and more. The goal is to help people in any utility role successfully share insights from smart meter and grid data.
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  • Advising utility professionals. Existing clients have found eMeter's consulting and professional services indispensable for solving emerging issues. eMeter has a comprehensive grasp of regulatory issues. In addition, eMeter's ongoing professional and support services are highly rated by utility companies.

What emerging energy data management and analytics needs do you see emerging in the utility industry in Europe and elsewhere? And what have been your experiences with these issues?

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