In 2001, the concept of "smartphones" was only present in a few scientific journals and the digitalisation process of industrial activities was still in its infancy. During that period, Enel set a world record with the design and widespread use of the first electronic meters in Italy. Today the multinational electric company has installed more than 32 million meters in Italy, over 5 million of a scheduled 13 million meters in Spain, in addition to having provided more than 1 million meters to other European utilities and having launched a number of pilot projects around the world. These include the installation of more than 30,000 smart meters in Romania, within a broader investment plan for the digitalisation of the Country’s electrical infrastructure.
‘We completed the installation phase in less than two months. The data that we have collected from the meters so far is very encouraging,’ declared Giuseppe Fanizzi, General Director of Enel Distributie Romania. ‘Our clients are satisfied and we are putting their reports to good use, in order to make future developments to the initiative. Enel has presented a project that includes the installation of 2.7 million meters over the next five years, one for each of our customers in the Country.’ Smart meters allow the power company to intervene remotely, without the need to send field technicians on site, thereby responding quickly to customers’ needs. In a liberalised market such as Romania’s (where Enel is the largest investor in distribution networks), thanks to smart meters, customers can switch from one power company to another in a just a few hours, while the traditional meter took about a month. Since data is updated in real time, customers have become increasingly aware of their consumption habits, allowing them to use electricity more wisely and to choose the rates and times of day that most suit their needs.
Smart meters were presented to Romanian citizens at the Meter Museum, an exhibition on the history and evolution of meters to this day, held by Enel Romania at the Galateca Gallery in Bucharest. Visitors had the opportunity to experience the cultural atmosphere of the different decades, through objects, pictures and newspapers that were used as the setting for the exhibited meters.
The extensive installation of electronic meters is part of a broader program launched by Enel Romania to further raise service standards to customers, based on the latest technology. In particular, Enel was the first power company in Romania to use electronic bills, a customer care app for smartphones and tablets, as well as the My Enel card, which allows customers to pay for their electricity consumption at "kiosk" payment points without presenting a printed bill.