KUGU's cooperation partners
Part 1 "The smartOPTIMO municipal utility network"

What does smartOPTIMO do?

As one of the largest municipal utility networks in Germany, smartOPTIMO pursues the mission of making a significant contribution to the realization of the energy transition. It was founded in 2009 by the municipal utilities of Münster and Osnabrück, which joined forces to offer classic and smart services for metering and counting activities. Over the years, many other municipal utilities and energy companies joined, so that the range of services was expanded to include strategy consulting, the operational metering process and smart meter gateway administration.

Today, the municipal partner network headed by Dr. Fritz Wengeler includes 140 employees who are working together to make the energy industry more digital and transparent. 

How did the cooperation come about and what distinguishes it?

The complexity of a traditional, technical industry, combined with economic pressure and current developments in energy and climate policy, poses an enormous challenge for players in the energy industry. How can municipal utilities optimize their processes and make them more innovative? And on the other hand, how do solutions from PropTech startups like KUGU reach municipal utilities? Platforms such as smartOPTIMO play an important role here, where the players can meet and enter into cooperation on a trusting level. 

Since KUGU's submetering solution is in line with smartOPTIMO's goal of promoting sustainable, economically strong municipal utilities, a corresponding cooperation was an obvious choice. The cooperation was officially concluded in mid-2020 with the signing of a partnership agreement. KUGU had won a tender in the run-up to the agreement. This was carried out in the course of the "Platform Housing Industry" initiative launched by smartOPTIMO. KUGU convinced the participants primarily due to the following points:

◆ high level of commitment in the tender process
◆ economic entry due to the variable price component 

◆ high level of support in the pilot project and beyond

◆ technical expertise around the topic of submetering

◆ software with a high degree of automation, a descriptive interface, and a high level of integration of various modules

◆ existence of a proven billing system in the background

For municipal utilities that want to perform some process steps as well as billing themselves, smartOPTIMO sees KUGU's modular offering as very helpful, providing various solutions along the value chain in submetering. "Many municipal utilities are united by the fact that they have identified submetering and heating cost billing as a meaningful new field of activity in the context of the smart meter rollout and the liberalization of the entire metering system," says Maximilian Joßbächer, who is responsible at smartOPTIMO for supporting municipal utilities in establishing the new business field.

What successes have been achieved together so far?

Through the agreement of attractive conditions and knowledge transfer promoted by smartOPTIMO, the sales partnership has already led to five successful pilot projects within six months, most of which will be transferred to framework agreements in the coming weeks. Together with regional utilities from Mühlheim, Herten, Bielefeld, Neubrandenburg and Nordhorn, KUGU is now working on digitizing the energy industry and creating new business models. "The cooperation with smartOPTIMO and the municipal utilities is characterized above all by open communication, trust, openness and sustainability. This corresponds exactly to our corporate values and is therefore a great pleasure. Cooperations like this make me optimistic about the energy transition," says Christopher von Gumppenberg, founder and CEO of KUGU. At the moment, the two companies are working together on the use of the CLS channel in order to be able to map processes via the SmartMeterGateway (SMGW) in the future.

Do you have questions or are you interested in a partnership? We look forward to hearing from you!

Christopher von Gumppenberg // CEO and Founder // c.gumppenberg@kugu-home.com