Nowadays, Electricity Utilities are forced to diversify from well-established business models and practices in order to challenge disruptors, as the energy sector transitions towards a fragmented landscape consisting of multiple stakeholders, from high-tech specialised technology providers to financial institutions sensing new market opportunities.

In this environment, Utilities will have to invest, not only in the continuous updating of their digital infrastructure, but also in collaborations that will turn them into orchestrators of technology driven ecosystems and enhance their pursue of an environmentally and financially sustainable future. In this way, the burden of having to develop digital platforms from scratch will ease, allowing Utilities to focus on their strengths and incrementally build digital infrastructure, utilising their partnerships with specialised technology providers.

In HERON, one of the largest independent electricity and gas retailers in Greece, we acknowledge that we have much to gain through our involvement in BIGG. In support of UC14 trials in BIGG, we have launched a smart metering platform monitoring real-time consumption in two pilot sites across Athens and Thessaloniki. Acting as a potential Demand Response Aggregator, HERON will provide 100 residential consumers with the tools to actively monitor their electricity load and receive real-time advice, powered by Inetum’s Demand Response solution, on consumption shifting based on environmental and electricity market conditions.

Anonymised data from a typical BIGG participant in the Greek pilot.

Hence our BIGG Ambition is to launch and test a virtual Demand Response Aggregator and accumulate experience into operational and business challenges that are yet to appear in Greece.

Being able to develop consumption monitoring tools and actively tap on the flexibility potential of Demand Response, while integrating it on our existing systems, gives us the unique advantage of not only being ahead of the learning curve, but also plotting it; a position that relatively few Utilities in Greece can claim.