SWTE network: New network operator with digital strategy

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Cologne, 17th of February 2021. In the era of the classic energy industry, SWTE Netz GmbH & Co. KG is an extremely new player – but one that has taken on considerable responsibility in such a short time: in 2020, SWTE Netz started out as a gas distribution network operator and in January 2021 also took over the electricity distribution network. This marks the final step in becoming an independent network operator in Hörstel, Hopsten, Ibbenbüren, Lotte, Mettingen, Recke and Westerkappeln. The network operator from the Tecklenburger Land region is pursuing a consistent strategy for digitizing processes. It is supported in this by epilot, one of the leading SaaS cloud providers for the energy industry.

Over the past few years, SWTE Netz has been preparing intensively to take on the tasks associated with the change of network operator – especially in the area of technical and commercial processes. For the network operator, this means automating processes immediately and implementing them digitally in order to position itself for the future. This is also evident in the collaboration with epilot for the digital mapping of house connections, commissioning, and the registration of procurement and generation plants. The cloud solution and the platform concept of the Cologne-based company management found itself in the same position, as Andre Freude, Head of Network Sales and Contract Management at SWTE Netz, reports: “We were convinced by the one-stop solution approach of epilot – because in this way islands of information are dissolved and transparency is created for all parties involved across various network processes. A great advantage of the cooperation with epilot is also the active participation in the design of the solution as a pilot partner in order to achieve the best result together. In this way, we have future-proofed ourselves in a very short time and can offer both customers and installers an optimal digital experience.”

Digital home connection and commissioning process
As a result of the change in network operator, SWTE Netz is the new contact partner in the area of house connections for electricity and natural gas. The process is handled via epilot’s digital house connection portal, which the SaaS cloud provider had already implemented in 2018 as part of a pilot project together with network operators of the Thüga Group. This gives end customers, as well as those involved in the process such as installers, a user-friendly, paperless closing option and digital construction file, in which, for example, the site plan and other relevant documents can be uploaded directly. The processes in the background are also controlled automatically, including the involvement of the civil engineers.

Together with SWTE Netz and four other network operators, the subsequent commissioning process has now also been implemented as a digital journey, an efficient way of noticeably increasing data quality and processing time. For example, the installer can simply fill out the “notification of completion for commissioning” form digitally. Among other things, user tests were carried out with the installers of the individual pilot partners. The associated installer directory, in which the management of concessions is mapped automatically with its own login area for the installers, as well as the digital registration of procurement and generation systems such as wallboxes or photovoltaic systems are to complete SWTE Netz’s digital strategy in the near future.

In the future, the range of energy services offered by the parent company Stadtwerke Tecklenburger Land will also be supplemented by the epilot portfolio. This includes, among other things, solar systems, charging infrastructure, heating systems or CHP plants. In this area, the efficient integration of partners such as solar installers, electromobility service providers or heating engineers within the epilot solution is a major advantage in particular.

About SWTE Netz GmbH & Co. KG
SWTE Netz GmbH & Co. KG is the network company of Stadtwerke Tecklenburger Land with shareholdings of the seven municipalities Hopsten, Hörstel, Ibbenbüren, Lotte, Mettingen, Recke and Westerkappeln as well as the strategic partners Westenergie AG and Stadtwerke Osnabrück AG. As a network operator, it ensures a secure supply of electricity and natural gas to people in the region.
Since January 1, 2020, SWTE Netz has assumed responsibility for the gas distribution network in the seven municipal utility districts as an independent network operator. On January 1, 2021, with the takeover of the electricity distribution network, the second and final step of SWTE Netz GmbH & Co. KG to become an independent network operator in Hörstel, Hopsten, Ibbenbüren, Lotte, Mettingen, Recke and Westerkappeln.

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