99.7%
compliance
with quality standards set by the
Authority for 4 services
10.6
minutes
average waiting time at branches
and chance to reserve an
appointment with an operator
399
thousand analyses
Group drinking water, 1,100 per day, of which 63% on the supply network

Initiatives for improving the quality of readings

As regards the gas service, AEEGSI’s resolution 117/2015/R/gas changed the frequency of readings, including a reading every 4 months, and the concept of periods relevant for meter reading. In response to this resolution, the Hera Group has presented an improvement plan, approved by AEEGSI, to maintain the benefits added by the new regulation and, at the same time, optimise reading loads throughout the year. Starting 1 January 2016, this has made it possible to start a new reading plan that includes:

  • four attempts per year to take a reading for all customers with annual consumption between 501 and 5000 m3 instead of the two required for customers with annual consumption between 501 and 1500 and the three required for customers with annual consumption between 1501 and 5000.
  • two attempts per year to take a reading for all customers with annual consumption between 0 and 500 m3, instead of the single reading required.

By doing so the reading plan has made it possible to increase the quantity of readings collected by the distributor, optimize the reading workloads and reduce the number of readings that are estimated.

As regards the water service, AEEGSI’s resolution 218/2016/R/idr added new reading frequencies, and the concept of minimum time between readings. In the face of this resolution, and thanks to Hera Group’s orientation which already went in the direction of maximising the collection of measurement data, the new reading plan, initiated on 1 July 2016 includes:

  • twelve attempts per year to take a reading for all customers with annual consumption above 1800 m3 instead of the two required for customers with annual consumption between 1800 and 3000 and the three required for customers with annual consumption above 3000.
  • four attempts per year to take a reading for all customers with annual consumption between 500 and 1800 m3, instead of the two required.

By doing so, the reading schedule has made it possible to increase the number of readings actually taken, making it easier to identify leaks, and improve the quality of the invoicing (a smaller percentage of consumption is estimated).

The year 2017 was a year of further refinement of the process of acquiring readings. One of the main improvements made at the end of the year was the optimization of algorithms and parameters for identifying readings that show consumption that is not in line with the customer’s historical profile, so as to be able to concentrate complex verification and control activities on the cases that have the greatest probability of being anomalies, thus ensuring a high quality of the measurement data as a whole.

As regards the gas service, Arera’s resolution 117/2015/R/gas changed the frequency of readings, including a reading every 4 months, and the concept of periods relevant for meter reading. In response to this resolution, the Hera Group has presented an improvement plan, approved by Arera, to maintain the benefits added by the new regulation and, at the same time, optimize reading loads throughout the year. Starting 1 January 2016, this has made it possible to start a new reading plan that includes:

  • four attempts per year to take a reading for all customers with annual consumption between 501 and 5000 m3 instead of the two required for customers with annual consumption between 501 and 1500 and the three required for customers with annual consumption between 1501 and 5000.
  • two attempts per year to take a reading for all customers with annual consumption between 0 and 500 m3, instead of the single reading required.

By doing so the reading plan has made it possible to increase the quantity of readings collected by the distributor, optimize the reading workloads and reduce the number of readings that are estimated.

As regards the water service, Arera’s resolution 218/2016/R/idr added new reading frequencies, and the concept of minimum time between readings. In the face of this resolution, and thanks to Hera Group’s orientation which already went in the direction of maximising the collection of meter reading data, the new reading plan, initiated on 1 July 2016 includes:

  • twelve attempts per year to take a reading for all customers with annual consumption above 1800 m3 instead of the two required for customers with annual consumption between 1800 and 3000 and the three required for customers with annual consumption above 3000.
  • four attempts per year to take a reading for all customers with annual consumption between 500 and 1800 m3, instead of the two required.

By doing so, the reading schedule has made it possible to increase the number of readings actually taken, making it easier to identify leaks, and improve the quality of the invoicing (a smaller percentage of consumption is estimated).

Also in the field of remote readings, intense operational and control and monitoring activities were carried out during the year from the remote reading systems control room, which is also fundamental for optimizing maintenance activities in the field, thus ensuring excellent availability of reading data. An optimization introduced during the year was the systematization of the management of the electronic meters undergoing temporary maintenance, by means of a manual reading run, always with the aim of minimizing the use of estimated readings.

Moreover, with the aim of further optimizing yields and therefore the availability of effective measures, testing has begun in the Modena and Ferrara areas of a new reading run planning system, characterized by seeking the maximum possible synergy of multiservice reading of each customer, subject to the constraints on the reading frequencies of the network services we manage.

In 2017, an additional water service reading attempt was made, within 30 days of two consecutive failed attempts, as required by Arera Resolution 218/2016.

As of the end of 2017, the Hera Group achieved its 2017 targets by installing over 402,626 electronic gas meters, amounting to 22% of the total (the target for the end of 2017 was 19%), 315,313 of which installed in 2017. We expect to continue to implement the installation plan for electronic gas meters: to 30% electronic meters installed at end 2018 and 57% in 2021.

In 2017, the activities of the working group at the Italian gas committee (CIG), which issued the UNI/TR 11689 standard for remote management, were completed and will be used in 2018, in accordance with the sector regulations. The final value of the investments is consistent with the standard cost recognized by the Regulatory Authority in Resolution 904/2017. In 2017, the operating tools used to manage mass-market remote reading devices (G4-G6 meter classes) and to plan the remote reading radio network were consolidated, and the recovery of equipment malfunctioning in previous years continued.

Procurement and installation activities are now fully proceduralised and industrialised. Now the focus of the technical structures is on communication reliability and on the analysis of the factors that determine the yield of remote reading over specific timeframes (3 days, 7 days, etc..) in order to optimize the commercial performance of the system. At the same time, specific measures have been taken to optimize operating costs, with particular regard to communication costs, and activities were finalized to improve the commercial performance of the remote reading system, with particular regard to communication and rental costs for the facilities that house the concentrators.

The Hera Group has also developed an advanced version of the gas meter, prototypes of which were successfully introduced at the end of the year. In 2018, the metrology certification and large-scale industrialization phases of this innovative series of equipment will be planned.