Echelon and Kapsch Smart Energy Announce New Smart Meter Pilots in Austria

Austrian energy law mandates 4.7 million smart meter rollout by 2019; pilots are with utility companies Wien Energie, IKB and Steiermark
Echelon and its partner Kapsch Smart Energy today announced that they have won several key pilots with leading Austrian utilities Wien Energie, IKB and Steiermark. The pilots, which together represent potential future orders of nearly 3.5 million smart meters and Networked Energy Services (NES) software platform licenses, are being prompted by a new energy edict in Austria that requires utilities to achieve specific grid modernization goals by 2019.

"As Austrian utilities work toward compliance with the new energy law, Echelon is winning important pilots by offering products that enable utility companies to not only meet the new mandates, but also improve the overall safety, efficiency and reliability of their energy grid," said Michael Anderson, Echelon's senior vice president and general manager, Grid Modernization. "These pilots represent early traction in a crucial phase of this growing market. With our continued success in demonstrating the value that NES offers to our customers, Echelon is well positioned to compete for large-scale deployment tenders once that process begins."

The Kapsch/Echelon pilots are designed to show that is it possible to fulfill Austria's demanding expectations for meter regulations and data security while still achieving the highest data availability on the market.

Together with its partner Kapsch, the Echelon NES platform is operating as a fully integrated solution with the Kapsch Smart energy meter data management software, offering its customers a full-featured, utility-grade applications platform to support the immediate smart meter program requirements and offer future opportunities for many high-value grid applications. The pilots are scheduled to take place through 2014; utility companies are expected to begin rolling out smart meters throughout Austria in high volume beginning in 2015. In addition to meeting their 2019 legal goals, the utilities want smart meters and associated products that can:
  • Monitor the health of the grid and pinpoint trouble spots.
  • Make the grid more reliable, including reducing outages.
  • Improve overall distribution grid efficiency.
  • Encourage consumers to become active participants in energy conservation.
"Our meter-independent Kapsch Smart Energy Management software running on Echelon smart meters in these pilots gives utility companies greater control over their grids," said Christian Schober, CEO of Kapsch Smart Energy. "Although we are meter independent, we have achieved our best performance working together with Echelon."
According to feedback received from the pilot customers, Austrian utility companies appreciate solutions—like the ones offered by Echelon and Kapsch—that not only fulfill the minimum requirements needed to comply with the milestones set by energy law, but also provide tools for implementing robust grid modernization programs with benefits for both consumers and utilities.
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