Régaz-Bordeaux is fitting its customers’ gas meters with Enless Wireless transmitters for simplified billing!

Régaz-Bordeaux[FR], a natural gas distribution utility based in the Bordeaux region (France), has responsibility for the pipelines, connections, maintenance and safety of the natural gas network for the 45 Gironde communities situated in the Médoc and Greater Bordeaux regions.

In early 2019, Régaz-Bordeaux launched a project to upgrade the gas metering equipment of its big business consumers, with automated remote-reading systems.

The ultimate objective of these upgrades was to  ensure that Régaz-Bordeaux customers would be billed accurately and efficiently, while eliminating the need for their technicians to routinely travel up and down, as they had been doing, to read every system’s gas consumption. It should be noted that the French Energy Regulatory Commission requires gas distributors and suppliers to do a monthly meter reading of every heavy gas consumer .

Enless Wireless was  selected by the natural gas distributor to provide automated metering by installing the first 200 Atex Pulse transmitters for gas pulse meters.

“We are very satisfied with the solutions provided by Enless Wireless. With their two pulse inputs the sensors can be connected simultaneously to the meter and to the converter if necessary. They are compatible with every gas meter on the market, and notably with Itron meters which are the most common”, says Bruno Bonnefoi, Foreman, Metrology Tele-operations, Maintenance Department, Régaz-Bordeaux.

To date, two-thirds of the remotely controlled sensors have been deployed at 130 public and private residential sites, hospitals, municipal buildings, schools, vineyard chateaux and estates, industrial sites… Dassault’s and Ariane Group’s regional sites have been fitted with them, as well as the Aubiers residences managed by Domofrance, the Gradignan media centre, and the Nadalié cooperage works in Ludon-Médoc (France)…

The consumption data uploaded by the Enless Wireless transmitters using the Sigfox communication protocol are managed directly by Régaz-Bordeaux via the Web I/O visualisation platform developed by the industrial solutions publisher Technilog. The aggregated data is then transmitted to energy suppliers such as Engie, Gaz de Bordeaux and ENI who can then bill their customers.

“Technilog’s Web I/O platform provides synthetic, user-friendly and effective visualisation. You can see periodic consumption per site as well as an overall, simultaneous view of our 200 sites fitted with this system, which is very handy,”  says Bruno Bonnefoi.

Example of the overall view of the sites fitted with the system / managed via the Web I/O platform.
Example of consumption tracking at the “Lafarge Cement” site via the Web I/O platform.

So far, none of the installations completed have required Régaz-Bordeaux to return to the sites, eliminating 250 trips over a two-month period.

Bruno Bonnefoi says: “So far,  we have detected no maintenance problems. In the past, we had tested an alternative remote-reading solution which did not use radio but sent automated monthly sms messages… We found numerous bugs, the solution wasn’t reliable and our teams eventually had to keep travelling to check the accuracy of the readings.  Radio mode is much more reliable and efficient, we’ve never had a missing transmission.”

Approximately 100 new deployments are planned by the end of the year ; variants that will use Enless Wireless transmitters relying on other technologies such as Wireless M-Bus private radio at 169 MHz or Lora (the Enless Wireless Lora range will be available from the end of 2019).

About Régaz-Bordeaux :

Régaz-Bordeaux manages the public distribution of natural gas to 45 communities in the Gironde (France) with an internal workforce of 277 employees. It has 222,000 meters serving individuals, local authorities and businesses. Régaz-Bordeaux reported €76 million revenue for the last fiscal year.

Régaz-Bordeaux’s two largest business segments in terms of natural gas consumption by its customers are heating and industrial processes.

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