Trondheim, Norway, 16 November, 2009: Powel ASA announced that in collaboration with the Skagerrak Nett and Metor AS, it has recently completed and released the first portal solution for energy companies that enable the broad use of advanced smart meters hardware functionality from multiple meter suppliers. Smart energy meters are continually adding and improving functionalities like real-time information about energy consumption, fraud detection, switching – and much more. This new functionality provides a unique opportunity to efficiently operate and develop the power grid whilst providing improved customer service to power consumers. With Powel Smart Grid Portal, energy companies can monitor the effects of various new network services that installed smart meters offer – even before government legislation requirements come into effect. The introduction of advanced meters (AMS) is considered as one of the largest IT-projects utilities will face.

“For utilities that face large investments in connection with the implementation of smart meters, it is critical to get the most from the investment. Powel Smart Grid Portal is specifically designed to allow energy companies to exploit the additional information gained in an optimal manner - without drowning in data, "says Tore Øverås, CEO of Metor AS.

Up to now the various suppliers of metering terminals had their own data collection software. At the same time, most utilities want to be independent of the meter suppliers. Powel Smart Grid Portal is the first and only open and map-based solution that integrates three different systems, GPRS (phone), radio and PLC (Power Line Communication) in a common database. Powel Smart Grid Portal is an open solution based on web service integrations with other systems.

For its customers in the Nordics, Powel’s Smart Grid Portal is expected to deliver tangible benefits. In Norway for example, more than 2.6 million advanced meters are expected to be deployed over the coming years. Powel Smart Grid Portal can transform the vast amount of information coming from these millions of meters in the Nordic countries to help decision-making within the entire metering business process. Utilities can quickly identify power interruption, voltage quality and notification of low voltage anywhere in the grid. This kind of information helps to improve customer service, identify and analyze the causes of power outages, and highlight weak areas in the network that need maintenance or alteration. This new technology also enables the spot reading of meters in a residence when customers are moving or changing supplier. It also allows remote connection and disconnection of the power supply without the need for a technician to be on location. It is easy to see the tremendous resource and cost savings this will provide utilities, in addition to minimizing the possibility of power fraud.

“Energy companies' major challenge is to make use of and realize fully the opportunities available from smart metering. Powel Smart Grid Portal adds value by providing an overview and geospatial presentation of information from the intelligent network that improves operational efficiency and makes it possible to make better use of resources. It also provides utilities new opportunities to provide improved service levels to their customers and allows customer service representatives to see up-to-date consumption information and an instant snapshot profile of every customer that contacts them.”  says Bård Benum, CEO of Powel ASA.

Smart metering continues to gain momentum across Scandinavia and Europe. It is increasingly becoming a critical building block of the utility of the future, because it will simultaneously improve competition and enhance the utilities’ ability to analyze consumption. Promising business cases and new regulations are leading the switch to a new smart metering infrastructure, to a large extend based on the success of similar efforts in Sweden — where Powel is market leader. Powel’s core capability is software development, and we have a proven track record of implementing integrated and stand-alone smart metering systems for utilities worldwide. It uses an open platform approach, enabling vendor-independent metering with virtually any type of device, be it a meter, a multi utility communication controller or a data concentrator.

About Powel
Powel ASA, headquartered in Trondheim, Norway, delivers business-critical software solutions and related services specifically designed to help energy companies and public utilities improve daily operational processes and service quality. The company is a market leader in smart metering, generation, grid maintenance and water management solutions with offices in Norway, Sweden, The Netherlands, and North America. Founded in 1996, Powel ASA is a publicly traded company with more than 230 employees. For more information visit www.powel.com

About Metor:
Metor AS was established in January 2009 and is a merger between Nota AS and Enita AS. Metor AS is owned 60% of the Skagerrak Energi AS and 40% of Trondheim Energi AS, which is part of the Statkraft Group. The company provides services in the collection of meter data, settlement, billing and related services, as well as supporting other operational systems. Metor is planning to offer services that focus specifically on two-way communication and smart metering processes. The company has about 70 employees and a turnover of 120 million. With headquarters in Porsgrunn, Metor AS also has operational facilities in Larvik and Trondheim, Norway.
 
About Skagerrak Nett:
Skagerrak Energi, and its subsidiaries Skagerrak Kraft and Skagerrak Nett, is one of Norway’s leading energy companies with annual mean power generation capacity of 5400 GWh, operating the regional and distribution network of Vestfold and Grenland. The company has 178,000 grid customers, 825 employees and a revenue of 3.2 billion in 2008. Skagerrak also offers other services through its subsidiaries Skagerrak Elektro, Skagerrak fiber optic network, Skagerrak Heating and Metor. Skagerrak Energi is owned 66.62% by Statkraft and is part of the Statkraft Group.