Echelon Corp. and Kapsch Smart Energy are currently operating 13,000 of Echelon’s smart meters, which is part of the Echelon Energy Control Networking Platform, at Stadtwerke Feldkirch, the municipal utility for the city of Feldkirch, Austria.
Kapsch and Echelon plan to target other utilities in Austria and Central Europe to bring the benefits of a multi-application grid modernization platform to utilities there. In the next few years the partners expect this market to be nearly five million in size.
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 in order to 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 in the area of pricing.
Feldkirch mandated the security standards of Kapsch and Echelon to satisfy all statutory and data privacy requirements of the Austrian smart meter ordinances. Echelon’s smart meters use the existing electricity networks for transmitting data to the nearest network node.
Every step of the communication is dynamically encrypted at 128 bits. This is the same level of security employed as other security intensive applications such as online banking. Corresponding authentication mechanisms for the meters and in the end customer portal are designed to prevent unauthorized access.