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SAP IS-Utilities for Generation and Transmission Business

SAP IS-Utilities (IS-U) is an integrated component on ECC stack and is a part of Industry Solutions offered by SAP.  IS-U has evolved to meet the unique needs of the Utility Industry, such as Electricity, Water, Gas, etc.  SAP IS-U product evolution is very much aligned with the utility industry market trends such us un-bundling of utility business, de-regulation and smart metering solutions.

It has been observed that SAP IS-U is widely accepted in the Energy Retail space more than in Energy Generation and Transmission. There is a prevailing myth that SAP IS-U is only for the customer intensive Energy Retail Business … the reality is otherwise.

The belief is that IS-U is meant for customer centric solutions handling customer-care and billing in the B to C scenario. But the reality is that IS-U gives flexibility in handle metering operations, generation and transmission billing solutions in the B to B scenario as well.  Some classic examples are Tata Power, India and National Grid Transco, UK who use SAP ISU for generation billing and transmission billing respectively.

Even though the generation and transmission companies have fewer customers, the number of meters for individual customer in generation and transmission business is larger.  Handling large volumes of device attributes, meter readings, installation, removal, replacements, etc. are easy with SAP IS-U.  Since  high voltages are involved, the metering infrastructure is mostly associated with Current Transformers (CTs) and Potential Transformers (PTs) for measurement purposes. The multiplication factors due to this CT and PTs are automatically taken into account while calculating consumption which eliminates both the need for manual calculations and development of separate programs for calculation. Also when the CTs and PTs are replaced by CTs and PTs of different ratios, the new ratios are automatically factored during calculations.

In the generation and transmission sector, the metering is spread across a large geographical area and it may involve complex calculations to arrive at the billing quantity. Additionally, the meters are mostly interval meters that necessitate handling of large volume of meter reading data. In certain cases, the interval data should also be used for billing computation. SAP IS-U is all the more appropriate in such cases as explained above.

As the generation and transmission utilities handle a large volume of energy there is a greater need for energy accounting. The transmission grid network can be mapped in SAP IS-U with network hierarchy which enables loss calculations. The Energy Data Management (EDM) component of SAP IS-U can be effectively used to mine and analyze historical data for reporting and forecasting.

Generation companies adhere to the schedule based on the frequency level of the grid given by the regulators to upload power in the grid. If the generation companies comply with the schedule and do not deviate from the limits they will be entitled to receive incentive from the regulator. Otherwise the generation companies will be penalised. Using the SAP ISU’s profile management parameters can be tracked and billings calculated which will be useful to verify the imbalance bills.

SAP IS-U can be leveraged effectively to meet the needs of the Generation & Transmission segments of the Utility industry and its deployment need not be restricted only to the Energy Retail space.

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      Author's profile photo Sumith Rajagopalan
      Sumith Rajagopalan

      That ISU data model is aligned towards that of a Utilities Retail customer than that of a Transmission or Generation company.  Hence using SAP ISU requires a substantial effort in mapping the Transmission industry data model to that of SAP ISU.  Even with that substantial amount of customization is required to comply with the full data model.

      As many companies are moving away from customizing a product to use a product OOTB as much as possible, I do not feel the business case to implement SAP ISU will stack up.