Facing the challenges of utilities – Smartvee by ConnectPoint now supported by InnoEnergy
Implementation of Smart Meters is still a challenge in the industry. ConnectPoint solves three main problems with a transition to smart in the Municipality of Leipzig with Smartvee solution. Recently, the company has received complex support and financial investment from InnoEnergy.
Smart metering, on first glance, seems to be a simple technology. The idea is to smoothly leave manual readings and use network technology for data collection. Thus, companies don’t expect much trouble with it.
However, there are problems with this technology, which can be seen in press reports. Both company managers and customers are dissatisfied that the meters are not working properly. In some cases, they generate crazy consumption bills. In others, the household internal power production from solar panels is not included in the bill. Finally, they stop working after switching energy suppliers. In the same time, smart meter implementation is more and more critical. Driven by European and local regulations, but also customer expectations.
ConnectPoint has been working on these challenges with utility companies for the last 10 years. With clients like Leipziger Stadtwerke, they decided to pin and resolve these issues.
1. Implementation consequences for your readings’ handling process
With manual readings the data collection was simple. Writing down each month (or even less often) the readings and entering the data into the system. With smart meters, the readings may be collected with any frequency. But before jumping into the benefits of almost real-time data collection, the basics need to be done in the right way. How often you should collect the readings? How to store them? How to analyse this much more complex time-series data?
The in-between moment
For Leipziger Stadtwerke and ConnectPoint, the first step was to prepare proper IT infrastructure and data management system. Special care required the moment when only part of the smart meters was installed. In this period, the system had to manage both manual and smart readings.
2. Maintaining the trend in consumption
With almost real-time data, significantly more complex trends in customer’s consumption habits may be noticed. With properly tracked trends in consumption, the anomalies like meter breakdown, fraud or accident can be spotted.
In the same time with the change of the meters, consumption tracking starts from zero. The proper data transition must be ensured to enable trends tracking from the start. This way, new systems can base on previous consumption trends. Without historical data, algorithms will be unable to identify the trends rightly.
3. Ensuring Data Correctness
Every utility companies have some kind of validation system. Usually, it is build-in the billing system. Despite this, systems customers still experience the consequences of incorrect data handling. More detailed time-series need more advanced algorithms for data validation and cleansing. For Leipziger Stadtwerke, ConnectPoint developed algorithms for calculating missing readings and generating overall consumption. It also ensures that anomalies were spotted and accounted for.
Smartvee solution from ConnectPoint
Proper meter data handling not only solve these problems but also open the company for digital opportunities. Leipziger Stadtwerke, use meter data for customers segmentation. Based on that, they are able to provide more suitable tariffs and promotions. Meter Data now helps to track the city infrastructure through an analytical dashboard. Consumption prediction is much more accurate and allows for better investment planning.
All these features are now available in ConnectPoint Smartvee solution. It is a tool for data validation, cleansing and analysis. It uses advanced algorithms developed by ConnectPoint’s data science team. In the same time, it is easy to use by every employee despite the level of analytical skills. Smartvee allows to save the cost of meter data verification up to 80% and speed up this process several times.