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Operational excellence and quality in distribution

  • GRI

Enel plays a fundamental role in the energy transition process, from a centralized to a distributed business model. Smart grids, distributed energy systems and the demand response service allow a high degree of flexibility in the management of network peaks and a better integration of renewable energy, generating virtuous synergies between Enel’s various businesses and making the grid a key element. Its continual improvement is central to the economic and social development of communities, as well as to the daily life of citizens, in full coherence with the commitments made to the United Nations sustainable development objectives and with Enel’s policy of creating shared value. The power grid enables a wide range of services, not only thanks to the continuous digitalization process, but also to its quality, efficiency, reach and widespread coverage.

The Enel Distribuição Goiás (formerly CELG-D) distribution company in Brazil was acquired in 2017, and in March 2018 the new company logo was launched, reflecting a long process of improving the company’s safety, efficiency and service quality standards. In 2018, the company Eletropaulo was also acquired, with its 7 million customers, making Enel the main operator in the country and accelerating its growth strategy in large metropolitan areas.

It is Enel’s responsibility to ensure a continuous and safe supply of energy to the national electricity systems of the countries in which it operates as a distributor. The quality of the supply is closely linked to the reliability and efficiency of the transmission and distribution infrastructure, which must be able to meet the required demand levels.

Enel works continuously to develop and improve the efficiency of the distribution network, in coordination with the other parties that, for various reasons, operate on the network infrastructure.

Enel carries out network maintenance and modernization on the existing infrastructure in all the countries, aimed primarily at reducing the number and duration of service interruptions. The work can involve changing the network structure, replacing technically inadequate line components, increasing the network’s degree of self-control through automation and carrying out remote work on secondary substations. Regarding ‘commercial’ losses, the digitalization of the network and the use of the “Remote Operator” system – combined with the use of smart meters – allow greater effectiveness in checking power usage, while also reducing fraud. Network digitalization and the spread and application of processes, technologies and procedures in the different countries where Enel operates are essential elements.

Regarding ‘commercial’ losses, the digitalization of the network and the use of the “Remote Operator” system – combined with the use of smart meters – allow greater effectiveness in checking power usage, while also reducing fraud. Network digitalization and the spread and application of processes, technologies and procedures in the different countries where Enel operates are essential elements.

Innovative digital technologies make it possible to monitor the entire network, act quickly to resolve any faults and ensure an optimal supply of energy. Remote control systems are fundamental for managing the distribution networks, enabling local operating centers to carry out any necessary operations to ensure the continuity of the electricity supply service.

Global infrastructure and networks have crossed the boundary between real and virtual, creating new management methods that make the most of opportunities offered by the latest technologies. In October 2018, Enel inaugurated the I&NNOVATION SPACE in Rome, a space open to everyone, to share and talk about technological innovation in the world of networks. The Network Digital Twin project was presented in the first exhibition. This is the “digital twin” of the network representing the physical network infrastructure, updated in real time. This digital model is a complementary solution to the existing systems in the control centers. It generates and interprets historical data, thanks to sensors spread across the network in an IoT logic (smart meters, fault detectors, etc.) and image acquisition tools, such as satellites and drones. It has many applications: monitoring the infrastructure status, predictive and fast maintenance processes, optimized emergency management and resilience.

2018 closed with 43.8 million customers with smart meters installed and integrated in the system and the new 2019-2021 Strategic Plan foresees 46.9 million by 2021. The meter is a crucial point in the innovation of distribution networks, it represents an important urban redevelopment tool and is a fundamental enabler of advanced home automation. An awareness campaign to spread specific information began at the same time as the first smart meters were installed. This was done as this technology can enable energy savings of up to 10%, thanks to the possibility of having real time consumption information.

The importance of customers and the customer experience are fundamental pillars of Enel’s industrial strategy and digitalization helps optimize the relationship with energy end users.In this continually evolving system, customers take on a central role thanks to the use of electronic tools which make consumption transparent and promote the efficient use of energy.

Enel is also experimenting with new methods of customer participation and involvement. One example is crowdworking in the State of Goiás in Brazil, a vast region with a low population density and logistically complex.An app has been developed that enables Enel people to acquire traditional meter readings from a photo taken on a smartphone, and in the future it will be possible to document other aspects relating to the network status.The trial was extended to Peru and we will subsequently evaluate the possibility of rolling it out across all the countries where we are present in South America.

As Enel wants to know what its stakeholders think of the services it provides, it carries out surveys to measure their satisfaction. Specific communication channels are in place in the various countries where it operates, also in line with the provisions of standards and regulations. In Italy, for example, a call center and innovative services are in place, increasing the ability to respond and provide faster, more detailed information to customers. In addition to the call center, the e-Notify service is available, which sends communications and notices, for example, to E-Distribuzione customers who want to be informed about any works planned in their area. The new chatbot, Eddie, was launched in February 2018, a virtual assistant designed to provide information and communicate with customers.


More people migrate to urban areas every day, in search of opportunities and a better future. This is the case of the city of Bogotá. The “Compartir” project, will cover an area of 1.23 hectares and provide for a 1.57 km transmission line, making it possible to meet the new electricity demand of the Municipality of Soacha, south of Bogotá, and guarantee the continuity of the service even in contingency situations. The construction license was obtained in May 2018 and work began in September. Specific programs were defined to minimize, as far as possible, any impacts that the project might have, and both internal and external people involved in the project were specifically trained. Multiple meetings were held with the local community to ensure its active participation in the project and promote a culture of responsible electricity use and consumption. A reception point was also set up to answer any questions that the community had about the project.

The “Gran Sabana” project was launched to the North of Bogotá, with the aim of meeting the energy needs of industrial customers in the various Municipalities in the Cundinamarca area. About 130 people participated in the construction phase, including engineers, specialized electricians and logistics personnel. The substation will be completely automated and controlled remotely, a factor that allows a better response in the case of contingency. The construction of Gran Sabana involved the development of an environmental management plan to guarantee the care and conservation of the local flora and fauna. In particular, 142 species of amphibians and 82 of reptiles were saved, 1,100 trees from 80 species native to the Andean forest ecosystem were planted and 37 species of birds were recorded.

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