E.ON Enhances Customer Engagement Through Energy Disaggregation with NET2GRID
This blog was contributed by AWS partner Net2Grid CEO Bert Lutje Berenbroek
In 2017, when the German market was still waiting for smart meters to be installed, E.ON wanted to be the first to offer its customers value-added services including real-time energy consumption disaggregation based on digital meters. NET2GRID won E.ON’s tender by meeting German requirements around General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and support for meter location requiring both long range (LoRa) and short range (Wi-Fi) solutions. Furthermore, NET2GRID’s disaggregation accuracy was a key criterion in E.ON’s selection and the resulting rollout on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
E.ON’s Innovative Offering
E.ON is an international, privately owned energy supplier based in Essen, Germany. With a clear focus on two strong core businesses E.ON aims to become the partner of choice for energy and customer solutions. E.ON developed its Smart Control service application and NET2GRID provided the smart reader hardware, platform, and non-intrusive load monitoring (NILM) elements of the solution. Smart Control is a service with which customers can view and control their electricity consumption in detail. The associated mobile application and the web application make consumption transparent, giving customers the opportunity to identify energy guzzlers, compare devices, and gain an overview of the breakdown of energy costs. E.ON launched Smart Control in Germany in 2019 to its customers with a digital meter.
Smart Control’s data processing, data storage, and data deletion capabilities take into account the requirements of GDPR. NET2GRID installed its platform service on E.ON’s AWS account so that E.ON could be the secure data controller and set its own terms and conditions with its customers, in line with GDPR.
Customer Obsession Yields Impressive Results
The E.ON Smart Control service has generated a high level of customer satisfaction to date, resulting in significantly improved customer loyalty. In October 2020, surveyed Smart Control users declared an impressive 60% Net Promoter Score (NPS). The survey also revealed that 50% of users visit the application daily and 90% visit the application at least once per week. Disaggregation proved to be one of the most valued features by customers and contributed towards increased customer engagement.
With the help of E.ON Smart Control, consumers can now for the first time not only properly understand and monitor electricity consumption and immediately identify “power guzzlers,” but also save money by comparing energy consuming devices inside their homes. The service makes consumption figures more tangible for consumers and allows them to clearly see the influence of individual devices on overall consumption. It is now easy for consumers to see exactly where costs arise and take steps to manage and lower them.
Application Features Score Well With Consumers
The E.ON Smart Control application, rated 4.6 stars on Google Play and 4.3 stars on App Store, includes a display of total electricity consumption and costs in real time, a display of device category level consumption and costs, and a display of each customer’s household meter reading with comparative statistics and analysis. If desired, consumers can set E.ON Smart Control to warn of unusually high consumption and they can see whether their devices are switched off or on and even be alerted if there is a power peak in their household.
The E.ON Smart Control app recognizes devices including refrigerators (freezer, fridge-freezer, fridge with internal freezer compartment), ovens and stoves, washing machines, dishwashers, and washer-driers. The application groups standby devices such as TV and consoles into one category together. Lastly, E.ON Smart Control compares the actual monthly costs incurred with a set advance payment. If there is a difference, consumers can have their energy supplier adjust the standard monthly fee. This prevents bill shock at the end of the year when the final invoice arrives.
How NET2GRID Leverages AWS to Deliver for E.ON
NET2GRID is an AWS Partner and we used AWS CloudFormation to deploy services inside E.ON’s AWS account, making extensive use of Amazon Elastic Container Service and AWS Lambda for a highly scalable solution. We use Amazon’s CloudWatch to support real-time monitoring of AWS services.
NET2GRID chose to install its platform on E.ON’s AWS instance for a number of reasons. E.ON has multiple subsidiaries in different countries and all of those can run on the same E.ON NET2GRID service delivery platform (SDP) on AWS enabling E.ON to compare performance across different markets. AWS allows E.ON to scale the needed AWS resources automatically based on demand from an increasing number of end users. NET2GRID uses AWS automatic failover between different Availability Zones to ensure business continuity. Finally, E.ON can quickly build, test, and bring new capabilities to market as AWS is easily upgradable.
E.ON Executive Feedback
E.ON executive feedback reflects the positive feedback from end customers. For example, Matthias Terschueren, Vice President Smart Data Driven Solutions at E.ON, Germany, says, “The Smart Control app is one of our most innovative offerings at E.ON. 90% of the users visit the app at least once per week. It demonstrates our relevance in our customers’ homes.”
Likewise, Jens Puknat, Head of Smart Control E.ON Energie Deutschland, remarks,“Customers love our E.ON Smart Control app and the services we are offering create real added value. E.ON Smart Control represents the spirit of the digital generation, providing the possibility to save money and to protect the environment at the same time.”