Elster has announced that Gaz reseau Distribution France (GrDF), a wholly owned subsidiary of GDF SUEZ which manages the longest natural gas distribution network in Europe, has selected Elster to participate in France's first gas Smart Metering pilot.
Elements from Elster's EnergyAxis® portfolio of solutions will be deployed as part of GrDF's advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) initiative, which is designed to evaluate different technologies and operational processes for grid modernization.
The Elster AMI pilot will enable GrDF to improve customer knowledge of gas consumption for improved energy efficiency, perform remote data collection to reduce on-site visits, and conduct more frequent and accurate meter reads for enhanced customer service. By testing different technology configurations in four different locations, GrDF plans to identify the best solutions to help it modernize its existing infrastructure and ensure compliance with the European Energy Efficiency Directive, together with the European Commission's Energy Efficiency Action Plan, requiring Smart Meters.
Elster and GrDF will install various components from Elster's EnergyAxis® portfolio of solutions in approximately 23,000 households and approximately 5,000 businesses in Etampes, near Paris. The pilot installation is expected to be completed in mid-July 2010, and GrDF will collect and analyze the results from this and the other three pilot sites over the following six months to determine the next steps in their gas AMI deployment program.
"There are an estimated 370 million gas and electricity meters currently installed in Europe, which may need to be replaced to comply with the European Energy Efficiency Directive and achieve the targets pursuant to the European Commission's Energy Efficiency Action Plan. GrDF is taking a leadership role in bringing the benefits of AMI to its customers," said Michael Calovini, Elster's executive vice president of sales for gas in Europe.
"Elster continues to be at the heart of Smart Grid deployments around the world, empowering utilities with the Smart Metering and AMI technology solutions required to improve energy and natural resource management across electricity, water and gas infrastructures. Elster has been providing trusted solutions to GrDF for nearly 65 years, and we are delighted they have selected us to participate in France's first gas AMI pilot," Calovini added.
EnergyAxis is a field-proven Smart Grid solution that enables utilities to:
-- Realize operational efficiencies;
-- Implement demand response programs that can conserve resources and reduce costs, especially during periods of peak demand;
-- Improve customer service;
-- Reduce outage response and repair time;
-- Provide real-time information to consumers to allow them to better manage their energy consumption; and
-- Conserve environmental and economic resources by reducing the loss of electricity, gas and water as they move from the supply source to homes and businesses.
GrDF taps Elster to participate in France's first gas Smart Metering pilot