By law, all residential energy customers in Spain must install a smart meter by 2018. The conversion will produce massive amounts of data utilities can use to improve energy efficiency.

E.ON Spain, which supplies electricity, gas and energy efficiency services to more than 650,000 customers, has chosen forecasting technology from business analytics leader SAS to predict short-, medium- and long-term energy demand for marketplace decision making.

SAS® Energy Forecasting met all of E.ON Spain’s technical and functional needs, in addition to being compatible with existing infrastructure.

SAS will allow E.ON Spain to produce accurate, scalable and repeatable consumption forecasts for multiple planning horizons — from an hour ahead to 50 years into the future. Covering the entire forecasting process, from data integration and model development to forecasting and reporting, the solution will help the utility quickly adjust to changing conditions.

"The information the smart meter data will provide will help us to be more efficient and implement measures that will benefit both today’s customers and future generations," said Javier Anzola, General Director of Liberalized Markets at E.ON Spain. "Our forecasting models will anticipate customer response and changing attitudes about energy consumption in addition to such influences as economic and weather conditions, helping us to advise our customers and suggest measures to save them money on their power bills."

To improve forecast performance, reduce uncertainties and generate value in the new data-intensive environment utilities are facing, forecasters must be able to decide which models — or combinations of models — are best.

"The days of one-size-fits-all models for the utility forecaster are gone," said Alyssa Farrell, Global Product Marketing Manager of the Energy Practice at SAS. "Traditional energy forecasting solutions cannot manage large volumes of energy usage data from smart meters. Advanced forecasting with an analytics foundation is now a necessity to track and manage a utility’s assets and optimize its energy portfolio."