While in former years metering equipment was only used for registering energy use, it boasts more interesting features today. Smart meters, which enhance energy consumption awareness and help save energy in the long run, for both private household and industrial environments, have become a common standard.
“The latest generation of meters is able to measure the power quality of the electricity supply. That is an interesting asset for grid managers, as the collected data provides useful information for major electricity users in industry, giving details on the optimal use of available electricity,” points out Managing Director Patrick Testers who has been working for Iskraemeco Benelux since November 2012. As a 100% subsidiary of Iskraemeco from Slovenia, Iskraemeco Benelux focuses on residential and industrial customers. Its predecessor Sorema used to be the exclusive distributor of Iskraemeco’s electricity meters in the Benelux countries, before it was acquired by Iskraemeco in 2003. In 2008, the group was taken over by Elsewedy from Egypt. Today, Iskraemeco Benelux provides electricity meters plus the related software for meter reading and measuring data management.
“The software is an important development for our customers, in particular for electricity grid managers,” says Mr. Testers. The company’s meters are delivered to the residential market, which is characterised by large quantities and small margins, while the industrial market, which is served as well, offers small quantities and bigger margins. “We know about the different requirements of each market and act accordingly,” adds Mr. Testers. In the residential market, there is a clear trend towards intelligent meters that enable reading data from a distance, in particular in the Netherlands. In recent years, Iskraemeco Benelux has won a number of tenders and has taken on contracts to install smart or intelligent meters on a large scale.
“EU legislation requires that by 2020 about 80% of the households should have such an intelligent meter. The Netherlands are very advanced in this respect, while in Belgium there have been some pilots with smart meters but not any big tenders yet,” points out Mr. Testers. For the coming years, the company expects major tenders focusing on a replacement of out-dated electricity meters all over Europe, and it aims to have its fair share in it. “Specifications are different in each country. That is exciting for us. It means that we have to produce a different meter for each country, which is quite a challenge,” stresses Mr. Testers. “We are highly confident about our future development.”