“Smart Metering is equality, transparency, and security”

“Smart Metering is equality, transparency, and security”

Mariano Gaudó Navarro

02/02/2018

Who is he?

Gas Natural Fenosa has maintained its global leadership position thanks to its commitment to innovation and digital transformation. An increasingly complex electric system requires flexible measures that provide solutions that adapt to any need that may emerge in the evolution to a smart grid model in which the use of power electronics, information technologies, and telecommunications networks is a reality. Mariano Gaudó Navarro is an Industrial Engineer responsible for smart grid design and deployment in this company.

After the use of smart meters becomes mandatory in 2018, companies will have the opportunity to change to a customer-centered business model

The first edition of Future Utility 2017, an event created to discuss the strategic and technological roadmap to lead the digital transformation of electric utilities, will also analyze the impact of smart metering and the opportunities brought by the smart grid, providing new formulas to create customer value by using Blockchain, APIs, Machine Learning and other technological innovation tools to adapt the inherited infrastructures to the new needs of the digital business. The event constitutes an opportunity to get the know-how from companies such as Gas Natural Fenosa – with a presentation from Mariano Gaudó Navarro – Viesgo, Cepsa, Selectra España, Iberdrola, Endesa, Feníe Energía, Redexis Gas, Lucera Energía, and Suez Water Spain, among others.

What advantages does smart metering offer in the energy sector?

For utilities, smart metering and digitalization, in general, are leading to operational upgrades that translate into greater efficiency and upgrades in the quality of the electrical supply. With all the information we get from the equipment installed, we can get ahead of problems that may arise in the grid and pinpoint their exact location. Until very recently, this was only possible thanks to the calls received at our customer service center.

And for consumers?

The new meters provide consumers more accurate information on the consumed electricity, favoring energy savings and efficiency thanks to hourly meter readings that allow choosing the tariffs that best suit your consumption habits, as well as a better service with less disruptions thanks to the option to carry out remote operations (power consumption readings, highs and lows, modifications or reconnections) in a more expeditious manner.

What does smart metering entail for systems operators?

The systems operator will now have real-time hourly consumption information provided by the smart meters, which will expand to all supply services once distributors complete our digitalization plans in 2018, thus preventing these estimations to be made based on consumption profiles, resulting in an improvement of the demand forecast and liquidation processes.

What should we expect in the future? What are you working on at the moment?

We are currently focused on the SEDA project (Segovia Advanced Distribution), an initiative developed in Segovia, where we are installing an electrical supply system that will provide new services for our customers, strengthen the quality of supply, and inform on incidents that may occur in the grid. Through this initiative, Unión Fenosa Distribución intends to move forward in its new role as electricity distributor in an open, decentralized, and digital environment where the different agents and customers interact in a scenario of equality, transparency, and security.

This new environment will lead to a new way of relating to customers, energy traders, and public administrations. The digitalization of the grid enables to improve systems operations, minimize network losses, and solve overload situations, while also improving early detection and incidents location, reducing disruptions and the maneuvers necessary to isolate the section presenting malfunctions.

On the other hand, applying new technologies in the electricity network enables the company to offer more information on the state of power supply. To this end, the company has a free app – tuluz – with which customers with smart meters can consult their hourly electric consumption data from any mobile device.

What other advantages does the app offer users?

The app also incorporates a tool to locate scheduled maintenance work or tasks to solve a problem that might have caused a disruption of the service. Unión Fenosa will soon launch a service allowing consumers to receive automated alerts on the state of these failures and service restoration. Moreover, thanks to the incorporation of this technology into the grid, clients will be able to use the customer service to connect to the smart meters and verify if a service failure is caused by the network or by problems at a particular installation.

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