Challenges and strategic responses

01

Management of network losses

Wiener Netze recognizes the importance of minimizing both commercial and non-commercial network losses. These losses encompass technical issues like energy dissipation in transmission lines and non-technical issues like theft or meter tampering. While current losses might be manageable, Wiener Netze understands their potential impact on long-term grid health and financial sustainability.

02

Active consumers and evolving customer demands:

Wiener Netze observes a significant shift towards “active consumers”, who control their energy consumption, engage in load balancing, and adopt e-mobility solutions. This trend underscores the evolving role of customers in energy management and necessitates enhanced utility-customer interaction and support.

“We see a lot of customers moving towards »active consumers«, who actively control their energy consumption, maybe do some load balancing, e.g. an e-mobility station and so on. It’s going to be interesting because these customers are interacting with us much more.” Johannes Geist, Head of S/4 HANA at Wiener Netze GmbH

03

Data accessibility and regulations

Wiener Netze prioritizes customer access to meter data. Customers can conveniently view data, adjust parameters, and set alarms through a user-friendly web portal and mobile interface. However, regulatory restrictions limit how Wiener Netze could leverage collected smart meter data for analytics and grid planning.

“Unfortunately, in Austria it is quite heavily regulated what data we are allowed to use for analytics or grid planning, and I think that is why we are not currently using the full potential of this data. But we need to understand the data, the measurements, what is being measured and what we can do with the data. We need to understand the state of the grid, and there are many differences between different types of grids. A better understanding of the state of the power grid is, I think, the next big step.” Johannes Geist, Head of S/4 HANA at Wiener Netze GmbH

Key partnerships and innovative solution

Wiener Netze began exploring smart metering technology in 2009 with a period of pilot projects and technology evaluations lasting until 2015, after which preparations for a large-scale rollout began.

During the piloting phase, the DSO utilized equipment from different vendors. In August 2017, Wiener Netze announced that it had selected a consortium comprising Siemens, Landis+Gyr and Iskraemeco for the mass-deployment phase of the rollout. Installations began at a smaller scale in November 2018.

The large-scale phase of the rollout began in 2021 and by the end of the year, the number of deployed meters had reached 436,000. By the end of 2022, Wiener Netze had installed 800,000 smart meters, translating into a penetration rate of 50 percent.

Wiener Netze’s decision to partner with Iskraemeco within a consortium of reputable suppliers provided a solid foundation for the project. Iskraemeco’s expertise and commitment to quality aligned with Wiener Netze’s objective of prioritizing quality over price. Rigorous testing procedures ensured that only meters meeting stringent quality standards were accepted, reflecting the Iskraemeco’s dedication to delivering reliable and high-quality solutions.

Solution architecture

Wiener Netze measures quarterly hour and daily energy consumption utilising Iskraemeco smart single and three phase meters using G3-PLC and P2P communication technologies. Iskraemeco meters adhere to industry standards, robust communication protocols, and advanced security features. Utilizing the COSEM/DLMS standards and TCP/IP communication profiles, these meters ensure seamless integration, enhanced data management, and reliable metering operations across diverse environments.

Daily energy consumption data is transmitted to Wiener Netze. The quarterly hour data stays on the meter for 60 days. Wiener Netze’s customers can opt-in for 15-minute intervals or opt-out of using the smart meter features, which also opt-out of data collection at the meter itself. That is a very specific part of the requirements imposed to fit the regional market.

Interview with Johannes Geist, Head of S/4 HANA at Wiener Netze GmbH

Upon reaching a project milestone, we had a privilege of speaking with Johannes Geist, Head of S/4 HANA at Wiener Netze GmbH. During our conversation, we had the opportunity to delve deeper into the project, shedding additional light on its complexities and significance.

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