In September 2019, PostFinance and Energie Wasser Bern (ewb) launched the start-up Ormera. Ormera provides a simple, clear portal for measuring and billing self-generated electricity. The process is based on highly secure blockchain technology operated in Switzerland, is fully automated and cuts administrative costs for users. PostFinance developed the Ormera concept in cooperation with ewb as part of its innovation process.
Ormera – the new platform for easy electricity billing
The cloud-based Ormera platform simplifies complex and expensive electricity billing. It combines smart electricity meters, as Internet of things components, with blockchain technology. The power production data is stored here and used for the automatic billing of consumption and production data. Ormera was created in light of changes in the Swiss energy system. Whereas energy supply was essentially organized centrally in the past, the trend today is increasingly towards decentralized production and local consumption. Since the new Energy Act entered into force, homeowners can sell the power they generate using their own photovoltaic systems, for example. The administrative processes involved are complex. As a solution, Ormera provides a platform that fully automates the entire electricity billing process. Ormera is primarily aimed at energy supply companies, energy and real estate service providers and property management firms.
Transparency thanks to blockchain
Blockchain technology provides the ideal basis for storing and processing data transparently and reliably. Data in the blockchain cannot be modified retrospectively and transactions are securely verified. Ormera is based on the blockchain infrastructure launched at the end of 2018 and operated jointly by Swiss Post and Swisscom. This is the first “private blockchain” in Switzerland to be operated jointly by partners. The data remains completely in Switzerland and the infrastructure meets stringent banking security standards.
Concept emerged from innovation process
The idea of linking the energy industry with payment transactions through Ormera emerged as part of PostFinance’s innovation process. New, highly promising future concepts are constantly being discussed and presented as projects at the PFLab – the company’s in-house innovation lab. The ‘open innovation’ approach – in other words, opening up the innovation process to external parties – plays a key role here. In the case of Ormera, the PFLab brought Energie Wasser Bern (ewb) on board right from the outset. The energy supply company of the city of Berne provided valuable expertise from the energy sector from the very start. After a successful pilot phase in autumn 2018, the platform was launched in May this year with various partners, including the energy service providers Eniwa AG, Società Elettrica Sopracenerina SA (SES) and IB Langenthal AG. Ormera also works with the technology partner ABB to simplify the direct link between measurement data and the blockchain. Ormera AG, founded by PostFinance and ewb, has been operating as an independent start-up since September 2019.
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