Yello Strom GmbH a subsidiary of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg is an electricity provider in Germany for over 1.4 million customers. Since 2008, it has offered its customers nationwide a smart meter known as Yello Sparzähler online [1, 2].
Yello Strom and Cisco have announced the launch of a 'smart grid' pilot. Its aim is to create an intelligent energy system that allows customers to measure and control the power consumption of their electrical appliances, enabling them to reduce their monthly bills as well as carbon emissions, while significantly cutting down on peak-period demand. The smart grid pilot is expected to make more efficient use of renewable energy resources — including solar cells, and a combined heat and power plant — and reduce each local area's reliance on reserve capacity.
In the current pilot, Cisco and Yello Strom have collaborated to enable 70 selected homes and businesses to communicate intelligently with the local power grid and power sources over an Internet Protocol (IP) network. Customers can use Yello Sparzähler online (a smart electricity meter) to receive information about their electricity consumption in real time. Meanwhile, a home energy management system also allows customers to set appliances such as washing machines to operate during off-peak periods, via the use of 'smart plugs' [1, 2, 3].