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, it also took over the electricity distribution network. This marks the final step towards becoming an independent network operator in Hörstel, Hopsten, Ibbenbüren, Lotte, Mettingen, Recke and Westerkappeln. The network operator from the Tecklenburg region is pursuing a consistent strategy for digitizing processes. He is supported by epilot, one of the leading SaaS cloud providers for the energy industry.
In recent years, SWTE Netz has prepared intensively for taking over the tasks associated with the change of network operator – especially in the area of technical and commercial processes. For example, network operators need to automate processes immediately and implement them digitally in order to position themselves for the future. This is also reflected in the cooperation with epilot for the digital mapping of house connections, commissioning, and the registration of procurement and generation plants. The company’s management found the cloud solution and the platform concept of the Cologne-based company very appealing, as Andre Freude, Head of Network Sales and Contract Management at SWTE Netz, reports: “We were convinced by epilot’s one-stop solution approach – because it dissolves islands of information and creates transparency 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 positioned ourselves for the future in the shortest possible time and can offer both customers and installers an optimal digital experience.”
Digital house connection and commissioning process
As a result of the change in network operator, SWTE Netz is the new contact for house connections for electricity and natural gas. The process is handled via epilot’s digital home connection portal, which the SaaS cloud provider had already implemented in 2018 as part of a pilot project together with network operators from 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 to noticeably increase data quality and processing time. The form “Completion notification for commissioning” can be easily filled out digitally by the installer, for example. To this end, user tests were carried out with the installers of the individual pilot partners, among other things. The associated installer directory, in which the management of concessions is mapped automatically with its own login area for 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. These include solar installations, 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 particular advantage.
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, 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 was taken with the takeover of the electricity distribution network.
In addition, the company acts as an administrative assistant on behalf of the Tecklenburger Land Water Supply Association (WTL) and the municipal utility companies, handling the billing of charges for drinking water and wastewater.
As a still young company, SWTE Netz attaches great importance to lean structures in all processes. In doing so, the company is focusing on the continuous further development of the supply networks and the expansion of the digital infrastructure in the supply area.
Further information: www.swte-netz.de
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