Götene Elförening is an economic association that builds, owns and maintains the electricity grid in and around the municipality of Götene in Sweden. In total, the association serves around 7,500 private- and company customers. Following an analysis of challenges, possibilities and market supply of control systems, they have now started using Powel ELIN. This initiative means they are well positioned for both the electricity market of today and the future.
Market development means new demands
Since October 2012, all households and businesses with an electricity contract based on hourly consumption have been entitled to use electricity meters that support hourly readings. This is one example of how new technology makes efficiency improvements that benefits several operators. Simultaneously, new possibilities means new challenges. Partly thanks to the new law, Götene Elförening realised that they had to update their technical infrastructure in order to stay ahead of the market.
“Götene Elförening has approximately 7,500 metering points where different types of meters are installed,” says Mats Ekelund, CEO at Powel in Sweden. “The meters are getting more advanced and offer increasing opportunities to make efficiency improvements based on actual electricity consumption per hour.”
With a myriad of meters installed, offering hourly readings is easier said than done. One reason being that companies offering hardware, including the actual meters, have had their focus firmly on hardware for a long time. The software needed to fully realise the potential of the meters has not been developed at the same pace.
“In cases where meter suppliers have upgraded their corresponding software, it is far from being as advanced as it could have been,” says Ekelund. “In addition, in those cases where software has been updated, the supplier of the meter has only focused on their own meters. This creates difficulties for associations such as Götene Elförening that wants to create a solution where they can collect and gather data from a variety of meters and communication technologies.”
Regardless of hardware and means of communications
Götene Elförening chose Powel ELIN to meet the challenges ahead. Powel ELIN is a software solution that works irrespectively of what hardware the customer chooses. “Powel creates software,” says Ekelund. “This is what we invest 100% in. This involves us quickly adapting our solutions to what the market needs are now and what they will be in the future. Due to the fact that Powel ELIN can handle various types of meters and methods of communications, such as PLC, GPRS and radio, you can legitimately claim that Götene Elförening has indeed future-proofed their services.”
A bright outlook overall
Following a period of testing, running Powel ELIN parallel with the previous system, Götene Elförening has decided to invest only in Powel ELIN. All 7,500 metering points are now covered by Powel ELIN. This means that Götene Elförening can collect actual electricity usage through intelligent meters, no matter what manufacturer or supplier they are from, and no matter what form of communication is being used.
“Data can be assessed from an overall perspective,” says Ekelund. “This means that Götene Elförening is perfectly positioned to optimise the handling of the grid in order to meet the needs of their customers and partners, businesses and households alike.”
Hourly meter readings give consumers new opportunities to consume electricity more efficiently. By exploiting the price variations on electricity over the course of a 24-hour period, consumers can save on their electricity costs through clever consumption. Not only will this benefit the consumer economically, it will also benefit the environment.