APIs in energy

Digitalisation in the electricity sector.

Unlike other industries where digitisation is the norm, the energy sector is a child by comparison.  In many countries, electricity is still purchased via a sales representative using a paper contract. Many energy retailers, (renewable) energy producers or grid operators rely on externally developed IT tools to support their core business. And most energy is still billed in a classic way, through paper or PDF invoices. In today’s digital world this may seem incredible.  However, the sector is catching up!

When it comes to the topic of digitalisation in the energy sector we think of smart meters.  This is a digital update of your electricity meter at home,  that sends real time data back to your meter operator in order to save energy and money for the consumer.  Some countries are deploying them [smart meters] faster than others, but as stated recently by the European Commission there has been a 72% roll-out in Europe for electricity.  However, although this may seem like an impressive percentage, next to the meter itself you need IT infrastructure to make sure the data is used fully (billing, grid management and electricity trading). And it is this IT infrastructure that is falling behind in most countries, leading to situations where although the smart meter enables the customer to see real time electricity consumption on an app, the energy retailer must wait up to a month to get an overview of that customer data.  Making it difficult for companies to produce those value-add energy saving solutions as promised. Most of the IT infrastructures is planned to become functional in the next few years so we are moving forward, but we’re not there yet.

A similar experience can be observed in renewable energy production. Most wind turbines and solar panels, including those on a residential level, installed today are connected to the internet. So, the owner can view production in real time.  This is especially useful for renewable energy generation as it is volatile, and therefore more interesting to follow it in real time than, let’s say a traditional baseload power plant. For the same reason, grid operators and electricity traders are also interested in this real time data, to make sure the electricity system remains balanced and healthy. Yet, like our smart meter story, we see that in practice, they receive the data only the day after the production, or even later. It’s akin to planning a trip based on the traffic information of yesterday.  And this needs to change for companies to be able to offer real value-add products for their customers.

At re.alto we hear you

We have the solution. Because the good news is all these systems that allow people and companies to follow their own installation in real time are up and running. And although the output is not currently optimized due to that dodgy IT infrastructure (mentioned before), these systems regularly allow you to download your data for your own use with what is referred to as an API.  Such an API is like a virtual telephone line, allowing both ends to communicate, and with this API you can use your data to create value for you, and others.  By using the re.alto API platform you can easily connect with others, you can control the data communication, monitor the usage, and more. We allow you to completely control where your data goes, all from one dashboard.

In addition to this, re.alto opens up a world of opportunities, products and services for both businesses and residentials who need to connect to a part of your data in order to create value-add products for all.  As re.alto reduces (eliminates) the complexity, resource, time and money of setting up and maintaining hundreds of connections for these companies, you ultimately begin to see more and more demand for your data points, which ultimately makes your life easier and increases your return on investment.

At re.alto, we provide you with an easy interface to all relevant APIs in Europe.

A win for you and a win for digitalisation in the electricity sector!

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