Energy efficiency (using less energy to produce the same result) plays a key role in businesses: it is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to address climate change, reduce costs and improve competitiveness.
Achieving this long-term efficiency requires the implementation of a series of actions based on the acquisition and subsequent use of data.
But where to start, especially when you do not have all the necessary information?
Luckily, great help comes from consumption data, which can be available through the DSO (Distribution System Operator), which collects and stores it.
Indeed, the DSO is firstly the link between the consumer and the energy supplier, responsible for ensuring a reliable grid, and much more.
In this article, we explore the significant role of DSO in the energy sector value chain, its worth in data integration, and its contribution to energy efficiency.
What is a Distribution System Operator
When it comes to energy efficiency, the Distribution System Operator is a powerful player, capable of managing customers’ energy needs all along the distribution grid.
This is possible thanks to smart meters (those that are connected to the internet and replace analog ones), and this is precisely the key role of the DSO in the digitalization of the entire energy sector.
In fact, with these meters, DSO not only manages the consumed and generated energy but also improves the quality of its supply, thus creating value for customers.
The role of DSO
The DSO is not only responsible for distributing energy, but also for the collection and storage of consumption data.
In fact, the data are entered daily, every 10 or 15 minutes for electricity and every hour for gas.
These are a real source of powerful information, crucial for the energy suppliers (as they invoice the customer based on the incurred consumption), and precious for third parties.
Indeed, third parties (like Energis) can turn this information into value-added digital solutions for the consumer.
Energis.Cloud, for example, turns consumption information into insights, so that efficiency actions can be better targeted and prioritised: in this way, energy reduction targets can be closely followed.
The good news is that you can request data from third parties at any time, as it is always available thanks to DSO.
This requires a little effort on your part, so if you decide to get onboarded and receive added value from your actual consumption data, here are the steps to follow.
Further reading: How to reduce your energy costs by simply relying on data
Third parties may request data on behalf of the end consumer: however, the customer must compulsorily provide a mandate to allow access.
This can be done through a signed document or online via the DSO’s portal.
The mandate must be present, not least because the DSO regularly checks whether the third party has the authorization to access the consumer’s metering data.
In this mandate, all EAN codes of the counters must be provided. (A EAN code is a number that identifies a connection to the electricity or gas network).
Once the mandate is provided, we can move on to the actual collection step.
Further reading: Why site benchmarking is the first item on your energy action plan
As a third party, access to data can be done in 2 ways:
- Using API: this method applies for low consumers, meaning the residential.
- Via an FTP (file transfer protocol): a way to download, upload and transfer files from one location to another on the Internet and between computer systems. This method is used for high consumers (companies, businesses).
Since the DSO differs in each country/region, if you want to acquire data from various countries, the third party has to be able to address a broad spectrum of DSOs.
As an example, here you can find a list of DSOs by country.
In most cases, a threshold is used to classify consumers (as low or high): this threshold is the kilovolt-ampere (kVA) power. (A volt-ampere is the voltage multiplied by the current supplying an electrical load. One kilovolt-ampere corresponds to 1000 volt-amps).
The added value that Energis.Cloud brings
With its extensive possibilities, Energis.Cloud can acquire data from DSOs in different countries, but it does not stop here: Energis.Cloud goes further, collecting other types of data, such as weather, occupancy, and activity, enabling you to make the best energy-saving decisions ever.
If you want to see all the DSOs we support and achieve outstanding savings, visit our dedicated page.