Karlsruhe. From October, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG is offering all its private customers intelligent electricity meters: Germany's first energy supplier to do so. "This is enabling us to fire the starting gun for a new era in Germany, in which the consumer can analyse and control their own energy consumption", explained Hans-Peter Villis, Chair of the EnBW Board during a presentation of the product in Stuttgart.
The new "EnBW Intelligenten Stromzähler®" makes electricity consumption completely transparent for the customer. This is enabled by the connection between the meter, PC and Internet: The meter sends its realtime data to the customer's DSL (broadband Internet) router. The customer can then use the computer to query and evaluate data, which is accurate to the second, and – using a protected Internet connection – they can query and evaluate averaged 15-minute values over a longer time period.
EnBW's intelligent electricity meter is supplied with a comprehensive package that includes software for the realtime data, the Internet portal for long-term data evaluation, a monthly bill with additional tips on saving money, and a special electricity tariff. If someone deliberately changes their pattern of electricity consumption to the evening and night hours (08.00 pm to 08.00 am) or to the weekend, they will be given a discount during those time periods, currently worth 2.80 Eurocents/kWh gross, related to the kilowatt hour price for the basic electricity supply. In this way the tariff creates even more incentive for consumers to manage their consumption more carefully, or reduce it, and so benefit from opportunities to save money.
"Our customers themselves are now becoming energy managers: they can take action to save energy and costs and they make their own personal contribution to climate protection", said Villis, describing the benefits of the new meter. EnBW estimates that around 45,000 private customers will adopt the new technology in the next three years.
Security is provided by an additional service: If a customer's power consumption exceeds a previously set value, for example, because they have forgotten to switch off an iron, then the customer can be sent a warning text message, if they choose to do so. The prerequisite for using the new meter is a DSL connection. In addition, for technical reasons, it can currently only be installed in housing units with a maximum of six dwellings.
EnBW has been testing the product over a test phase of one year, since August 2007, in Baden-Württemberg. "The experiences gained from the pioneer phase show that the meter fulfills the hopes that our customers had for it", reported Uli Huener, Managing Director of EnBW Vertriebs- und Servicegesellschaft. For example, over a third of the test customers succeeded in cutting their electricity consumption by more than 10 %. As a result, in the test period alone, CO2 emissions were reduced by around 157 tonnes.
"With the new meter, our customers are bringing the future into their homes", said Hans-Peter Villis. The new technology provides the future platform for many other options for the household budget or also for flexible tariff models. A possible example could be that individual household devices could soon already be identified on the monitor. In the medium term, the electricity meter could become the core of an extensive "energy management platform" which could be used to control intelligent end devices, energy stores and decentral generation. "The intelligent electricity meter is a prerequisite and starting point for this innovative development", emphasised Villis.
Over the next months, EnBW will run a wide-ranging campaign to provide information about the new product. You will find detailed information about the "EnBW Intelligenten Stromzähler®" in the Internet at www.enbw.com/stromzaehler.
Note for editorial staff:
We would be happy to provide you with press material about our intelligent electricity meter:
- Print-ready photos with old and new electricity meters
- TV material, ready for transmission, with statements from a family that participated in the test phase, Uli Huener from EnBW and Ulrich König, Managing Director of the Stuttgart Energy Advisory Centre
- Material ready for radio transmission
Your contact person:
Press Spokesperson for EnBW Vertriebs- und Servicegesellschaft mbH
Tel. +49 711 128 1250