Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Siemens releases new smart grid app for energy efficiency

Iain Morris
July 15, 2014
 
Siemens Smart Grid has released a new mobile app allowing energy consumers to more easily monitor their usage and connect with their utility providers.

The app – branded Energy Engage Mobile – allows users to track consumption of electricity and gas in near real-time and also view details of estimated charges.

The display will feature alerts and tips about reducing bills and usage, as well as pricing information – meaning customers will be able to see the current cost of electricity per unit and adapt their behavior to avoid higher charges in peak periods.

Siemens (Munich, Germany) says the app will also allow utility professionals to deliver web content to their customers and communicate more effectively with consumers through what it calls a “multichannel communication strategy”.

The Germany technology player says that a recent study by JD Power (Agoura Hills, CA, USA), a market-research company, showed that utilities fell short in terms of the content and information they made available through their websites.

Expecting the new technology to help utility players address this shortcoming, Siemens has already unveiled the City of Fort Collins in Colorado as the first utility in the world to make use of the technology.

The Colorado-based utility has been using the technology as part of its advanced metering project, allowing customers to see details of their electricity usage that are updated every 15 minutes.

Previously, customers would only have been able to see how much electricity they were using once every month.

“It’s essential in today’s ever-connected world that we put energy usage information directly into the hands of utility customers,” said Lisa Caswell, the president of eMeter, a Siemens business whose software platform powers the new app. “Utilities can provide Energy Engage Mobile to their customers whether they be commercial and industrial clients or residential, to help meet energy efficiency and customer satisfaction goals, and complement engagement initiatives around smart grid programs.”

Fort Collins describes the mobile solution as the “heart and soul” of its smart grid efforts, and says the technology has allowed it to provide a higher level of service to its customers.

Siemens says the app also gives consumers the option to work with utilities on energy efficiency programs or freely amend energy usage on their own.
 
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