Value for the market and for customers
We operate in the market to ensure and improve the quality and safety standards of the service, both technical and commercial, from the initial stages of design and implementation of distribution networks to the final consumer.
Innovation is the main driver of Italgas' development strategy. It is from technological innovation that the Company's ability to consolidate its leadership in Italy and Europe passes, confirming itself at the forefront in the gas distribution sector. For this reason, the digitization of assets and processes and the development of the digital skills of Italgas people have been identified as the keys to making operations more and more efficient and consequently improving the service provided to customers.
In the 2020-2026 Strategic Plan an additional billion euro was allocated to the digitization of business networks and processes, as well as to the completion of the smart meters installation plan. A transformation process that makes it possible to make the monitoring and control of networks ever more widespread, also for safety purposes, and above all constitutes the technical precondition for transporting renewable gases such as hydrogen, biomethane and synthetic methane.
These investments bring benefits in the relationship with the customer and the sales companies, both in terms of content and the way the relationship is conducted.
To improve the performance levels of quality and safety of the service, as well as to increase the efficiency of the distribution system, Italgas continues to invest significantly in the digitization of its network infrastructures and processes, with unique technologies and artificial intelligence.
Digital transformation activities concern for example:
- the planned research activity of gas dispersions, for which we introduced in 2018 and now extensively uses the CRDS technology (the Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy) - conceived and developed by the American Picarro Inc. a sophisticated sensing technology which, compared to traditional technologies, offers important advantages in terms of speed of development and the size of the areas subject to control; it is in fact able to:
- detect fugitive dispersions with a sensitivity of three orders of magnitude higher than those currently used by all the other operators in the sector (parts per billion vs parts per million);
- identify a gas leak even at a distance of a few tens of meters with respect to the path taken by the equipped vehicle, thanks to special on-board sensors and sophisticated calculation software;
Thanks to this, like Italgas, we are the only ones in Italy to carry out the planned search for fugitive leaks, also extended to all underground and overhead connections, although this activity is not required by the laws and regulations in force. From the very first applications, the technology - now fully involved in the management of the distribution network - made it possible to control a quantity of network kilometers equal to 150% more than the minimum standards indicated by the regulatory authority.
- systematic and real-time control of all construction sites thanks to the innovative digital application "Work-on-site", conceived and developed thanks to our "Digital Factory" which, supported by artificial intelligence systems, allows you to:
- acquire the pertinent photographic surveys at each operational phase (eg site preparation, excavation, pipe laying, backfilling, etc.), sending them in real time to a site control center manned by specially trained technicians for control;
- validate or not the coherence and compliance of each photo, also through artificial intelligence systems, with the laws in force and the tender specifications (eg safety conditions on site, depth of laying the pipes, type / quality of backfill , correct positioning of the signaling tape, etc.);
- establish a permanent depository of the quality and conformity of all the works carried out.
Italgas has made “Work-on-site” available to all companies operating on its behalf.
- the digitization of reduction units, thanks to new digital technologies (industrial IoT), we have undertaken a digitalization project of Italgas Reti's network and plant infrastructures thanks to the widespread installation of sensors and electronic equipment capable of:
- communicate and interact with each other and with the central supervision and control infrastructures;
- provide, in real time, detailed information on the performance characteristics achieved by the various plant components, allowing, thanks to self-learning systems (machine learning), system self-adjustments and / or the sending of preventive reports to the supervisory operating structures responsible for ensure the safety conditions of the network and the plants themselves.
The activities described above are carried out in addition to the normal maintenance activities, ordinary and extraordinary, of the pressure reduction systems present on the national territory, in compliance with the regulatory indications in force today.
- the laying of multi-lancet windows prepared for optical fiber and Rfid (Radio Frequency Identification) markers for the massive transmission of the data detected by the Digital Reduction Units at the natural gas injection points, by the Smart Meters installed at the users redelivery and from the sensors installed at the network termination points. The multi-lancet windows are positioned at the same time as the laying of the pipelines and within the excavation itself. The new distribution networks are also equipped with RFID markers, also located inside the excavation with an average pitch of 1 every 50 meters, which allow the traceability and localization of the pipelines directly from the road surface without the need for invasive interventions in the subsoil. and consequent interference to traffic.
In suport of network safety, the plan to replace gray cast iron pipes with hemp and lead joints and its mechanical joints has almost been completed, which in addition to increasing safety levels, also contributes to reducing gas releases into the atmosphere: only more than 3 km of gray cast iron with hemp and lead joints remain located in the city of Rome, which will be removed in 2021.
In 2020, the redesign project was launched of the portals dedicated to the end customer MyItalgas, MyMedea and MyToscanaEnergia, with a view to improving the user experience yet further, guaranteeing ever simpler, more user-friendly processes. In the new version of the portal, users needing assistance can access a support section filled with answers and consult their own utility record (re-delivery point, meter serial number, etc.), check the trend of their readings, monitor the services requested and appointments, ask for estimates for construction works or the alteration or removal of the supply system and much more besides. If they have further questions or need to make a report, end customers can ask them and do so directly from the portal.
Agreement with the consumer associations
In order to constantly improve the service quality indices, in 2018 we started a structured and continuous collaboration path with the world of consumer associations, on the basis of an equal relationship and mutual trust. This process was substantiated above all in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, which after a long preparatory work started in 2017, was finalized at the beginning of 2018 at the Ministry for Economic Development, with the signing of Italgas and 19 of the 20 Consumer Associations recognized by the CNCU (National Council of Consumers and Users).
The general objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding are the constant improvement of the service provided by Italgas and the growth of consumer awareness of the quality of natural gas and its methods of use.
In 2020, the cooperation focused in particular on the Sardinian methanisation program, highlighting the advantages - economic and environmental - deriving from the use of natural gas instead of other fuels.
In addition, we have organized various virtual meetings with the associations to examine the main innovations introduced to ensure a more punctual and efficient service and to reduce complaints and operational malfunctions.
As the first Italian operator in the destruction of gas and third in Europe, we actively participate in the activities of Italian and international sector associations, confirming our commitment to the protection, enhancement and development of the sector in which we operate.
ultimo aggiornamento 19 April 2021 08:41 UTC