GEO and Siemens enable smart metering in multi-dwelling buildings
  • Siemens in partnership with Green Energy Options (geo) launch an innovative solution to deploying smart meters in multi-dwelling and high-rise buildings
  • Buildings can be ‘smart enabled’ to support the deployment of smart meters without modification
  • The shared infrastructure enables smart metering components to be distributed throughout the building and managed to enable fault-diagnosis
  • Installation of the infrastructure and meters can be phased to meet energy suppliers’ and customers’ requirements

Siemens in partnership with Green Energy Options (geo) have launched a pioneering solution for the deployment of Smart Meters in Multi-Dwelling Buildings, also known as Multi-Dwelling Units (MDUs).
According to publicly available figures, a significant proportion of those living in urban areas across Europe are located in multi-dwelling units. These buildings, often high-rise, present a challenge for the deployment of smart energy meters, which require an appropriate communications infrastructure to enable communication between components, which may include electricity meters, gas meters, communication hubs, in-home displays and other devices.
Most commonly, meters are not located in the apartment but are often found in communal areas, sometimes with limited access and space, but may also be spread around the building.
Working with key development partners, Siemens and geo have solved the problem with a unique ‘shared infrastructure’ solution, utilizing a Broadband-over-Powerline (BPL) backbone integrated with wireless radio technology that enables standard smart meters to be installed, commissioned and connected to a Wide Area Network (WAN) gateway.
The solution is scheduled to go into field trials in the United Kingdom in early 2014, but both Siemens and geo believe that smart metering deployments in a number of European countries may also benefit from such a shared infrastructure solution.
Without such a solution, energy suppliers may be forced to install additional infrastructure and make additional engineering visits, representing poor value for money and generating unnecessary consumer and landlord disruption.

Jon Turner, Head of Business Development at Siemens Metering, Communications and Services, said: "Developing an effective, secure solution to address smart metering in high-rise properties is both necessary and urgent across all energy markets in Europe.  The scale of the challenge in Europe is polarized further due to a higher percentage of the population living in apartments.  This, for Siemens, presents a significant opportunity to use the knowledge we’ve gained through our trials in the UK, to bring this proven solution to new markets and give European consumers equal access to the energy and cost efficiencies offered by smart meters."

Patrick Caiger-Smith, Chief Executive Officer at geo, said: ”The rollout of smart metering systems across Europe will be a considerable engineering challenge and requires innovative and cost-effective solutions. Consumers in multi-dwelling units make up a sizeable proportion of the total population but could be denied the benefits of smart metering unless these challenges can be overcome.  geo is delighted to be working with Siemens to provide such a solution.”
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