Austria’s adoption of smart meters began in the city of Feldkirch, with a deployment of 13,000 Echelon smart meters operated by Kapsch Smart Energy, a smart energy management company that’s a subsidiary of the $1.2 billion Kapsch Group. The smart meters, part of the Echelon Energy Control Networking Platform, are deployed through Stadtwerke Feldkirch, the municipal utility for the city of Feldkirch.
Now, Echelon and Kapsch Smart Energy have announced plans to target other utilities elsewhere in Austria and in Central Europe, accelerating smart meter deployments to bring the benefits of a multi-application grid modernization platform.
In Feldkirch, Kapsch operates not only the meters but also the network infrastructure, the central control and analysis system, and the energy consumption information for the end-customer portal—where households and businesses can view their power consumption so they can individually optimize their power use.
In addition to helping individual users lower their energy costs, these solutions also open up new possibilities for energy suppliers, such as improved pricing structures.
Echelon’s smart meters use existing electricity networks for transmitting data to the nearest network node. Every step of the communication is dynamically encrypted at 128 bits, which is the same level of security employed for other security-intensive applications, such as online banking.
According to Christian Schober, CEO of Kapsch Smart Energy: “The concepts of smart metering and smart grids are still relatively young. From the beginning, Kapsch has focused not only on the technical aspects but also on the legal and organizational factors. With international partners like Echelon, we also bring experiences from other countries into smart energy projects. With its multi-application platform based on open standards, Echelon has the best-established solution in the world.”
- Press release: Echelon and Kapsch Expand Partnership in Austria with Smart Meter Deployment at Stadtwerke Feldkirch
- Echelon’s Energy Control Networking web page
- Echelon’s Power Line Communications (PLC) web page
- Kapsch Smart Energy’s web site