"Consumers are ready for the convenience of managing their energy accounts from a smart device, while heat providers are increasingly demanding greater access to data without the associated costs."
Anthony Coates-Smith, MD of Insite Energy
KURVE – the UK’s first app-based metering solution for heat networks – has been launched as the result of a collaboration between industry specialists, Insite Energy and SAV Systems. The digital metering app is set to transform energy metering, billing, and payments with a system that is more affordable, flexible, functional, easy to install and cheaper to run than established pay-as-you go (PAYG) alternatives.
Kurve Technologies is a streamlined package combining a Kamstrup energy meter, prepayment valve, heat interface unit (HIU) from SAV or other provider, and a Kamstrup Master Multiport. The KURVE install is pre-wired and does not require an in-home display device. KURVE’s design not only cuts time spent on installation and commissioning, it also significantly reduces service, maintenance and administration costs compared to other PAYG alternatives. KURVE is estimated to deliver CapEx and OpEx savings of up to 62% and 53% respectively, relative to competitor metering solutions. Billing costs are estimated to be reduced by 19%. Coming largely as a result of the system’s smart Mbus infrastructure, a standard network set-up enhanced for two-way communication, these OpEx savings can be passed on to residential customers via their heat tariffs – an area which is increasingly under the microscope of consumer watchdogs.
For just a few pounds a year, heat network operators specifying KURVE will gain access to data diagnostics including energy consumption and VWART (Volume Weighted Average Return Temperature) from each connected meter. Analysis of this detailed data provides valuable insight into usage patterns and enables operators to optimise network performance, improve efficiencies, and reduce costs through to the end-user. This functionality has only been available previously with premium prepayment metering solutions which have proven to be out-of-reach to low-cost developments outside of the London market.
“SAV has been working with designers, manufacturers and heat network operators for many years, finding increasingly innovative ways to optimise heat network efficiency and data visibility,” observed SAV Director, Jan Hansen. “Providing digital metering and billing solutions will deliver significant benefits for heat network operators as well as their customers.
“This functionality is something that both SAV and Insite’s clients have been requesting for some time. By combining our experience of heat networks and application of new technologies with Insite’s billing and metering expertise, we have developed KURVE as our response to that feedback.”
Kurve Technologies’ integrated web-based app provides a user-friendly platform by which residents can view, monitor and manage their energy account from any internet-connected device, at any time, and from any location. By making consumption data available for the day, week, month and year, the system aims to encourage a better understanding of energy spend, highlight areas for improvement and help to reduce energy waste.
With access to their account balance, credit and payment status, end-users can keep track of their account remotely and, if necessary, take action to manage or avoid debt. Payments can be made securely via PayPoint through the KURVE app, in any PayPoint outlet, or over the phone.
For heat network operators such as housing associations, local authorities, developers and managing agents, KURVE offers the flexibility to set up and adjust customer accounts according to the needs of individual residents or criteria specified. For example, it can enable remote switching between PAYG and Credit modes.
“Moving heat metering into the digital space with KURVE is an exciting transition and one which will deliver significant benefits for heat network operators and residents alike – particularly in terms of cost savings,” added Anthony Coates-Smith, Managing Director of Insite Energy. “Consumers are more than ready for the convenience of managing their energy accounts from a smart device, while heat providers are increasingly demanding greater access to data without the associated costs.
“KURVE also addresses the very topical concerns around managing debt risk and reducing customer heat tariffs. With the Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) calling for heat networks to be regulated, there has never been a better time for network providers to introduce greater levels of transparency and encourage positive consumer engagement.”
KURVE complies with the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) requiring all new meters to be remotely readable from 25th October 2020. In addition, all existing meters are to be upgraded by 1st January 2027 so that consumption data can to be regularly shared with the end consumer.
KURVE’s first site is due to go live in February 2020. Kurve Technologies will be supported by a dedicated customer service team (both on and off-line) managed by Insite Energy. Housing associations, local authorities, managing agents, developers, specifiers and M&E contractors interested in learning more about KURVE for new builds or retrofits, should direct their enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.