Energy efficiency (using less energy to achieve the same result) plays a key role in businesses: it is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to tackle climate change, reduce costs and improve competitiveness.

Achieving this long-term efficiency requires the implementation of a series of actions based on the collection and subsequent use of data.

But where do you start, especially if you don’t have all the information you need?

Fortunately, the consumption data available from the DSO (Distribution System Operator) that collects and stores it can be a great help.

In fact, the DSO is first and foremost the link between the consumer and the energy supplier, responsible for ensuring a reliable grid and much more.

In this article, we explore the important role of the DSO in the energy value chain, its value in data integration and its contribution to energy efficiency.

Table of Contents

What is a Distribution System Operator

When it comes to energy efficiency, the Distribution System Operator (DSO) is a powerful player, able to manage the energy needs of customers throughout the distribution network.

This is possible thanks to smart meters (those that are connected to the Internet and replace analogue meters), and this is precisely the key role of the DSO in the digitalisation of the entire energy sector.

With these meters, the DSO not only manages the energy consumed and generated, but also improves the quality of its supply, thus creating value for customers.

The role of DSO

Distribution System Operator model

Data Storage

The DSO is not only responsible for distributing energy, but also for collecting and storing consumption data.

In fact, the data is entered daily, every 10 or 15 minutes for electricity and every hour for gas.

This is a very powerful source of information, crucial for energy suppliers (as they bill the customer on the basis of consumption) and valuable for third parties.

Indeed, third parties (such as Energis) can transform this information into value-added digital solutions for the consumer.

Energis.Cloud, for example, transforms consumption information into insights, so that efficiency measures can be better targeted and prioritised: 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 on board and get added value from your actual consumption data, here are the steps to follow.

How to reduce your energy costs by simply relying on data

Read more

Data Request

Third parties can request data on behalf of the end user: however, the customer must provide a mandate to allow access.

This can be done by means of a signed document or online via the DSO’s portal.

The mandate is necessary, not least because the DSO regularly checks whether the third party is authorised to access the consumer’s meter data.

The mandate must include all EAN codes of the meters. (An EAN code is a number that identifies a connection to the electricity or gas network).

Once the mandate is provided, we can proceed to the actual collection step.

Data Collection

As a third party, access to data can be done in 2 ways:

  • Via API: this method is used for low volume users, i.e. private individuals.
  • Via an FTP (File Transfer Protocol): a way of downloading, uploading and transferring files from one place to another on the Internet and between computer systems. This method is used for high consumers (companies, businesses).

As DSOs are different in each country/region, if you want to purchase data from different countries, the third party must be able to address a wide range of DSOs.

For example, here is a list of DSOs by country.

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.

Interested in our Energy Management Software?

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