Energie AG Oberösterreich has always considered research, development and innovation in the entire Group to be the cornerstones of the company's further development.

Social responsibility for future generations and the consequences of climate change pose major challenges for all areas of the Group. Energie AG proactively assumes responsibility and meets these challenges with great commitment. In addition to the issues of sector coupling and sector integration with the aim of bringing more renewable energy sources into the energy system and thus electrifying or decarbonising the various sectors, it is also important to maintain a high level of supply reliability.

In addition, Energie AG focuses on development and innovation in the areas of digitalisation and automation. Numerous projects, cross-company optimisation potentials, new business models and ideas for further projects have already emerged from this digitalisation offensive. Close cooperation with partners from science and industry allow for an intensive exchange with valuable and mutual impetus.

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In fiscal year 2018/2019, research, development and innovation were pursued in the following projects (non-exhaustive list):

Digitalisation projects: chatbot & robotics

As part of the digitalisation strategy developed in 2017, digitalisation projects in various areas were implemented in the 2018/2019 fiscal year. Among other things, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) was implemented, an innovative technology that automates extensive, recurring manual activities by users, for example for customer support in connection with the use of smart meters and in the course of monitoring photovoltaic systems. The aim is to process tasks faster and at lower cost. The technology is suitable for all high-volume, repetitive, routine activities that follow a certain set of rules.

In addition, a chatbot – an internal, digital assistant (based on cognitive services) – was developed to channel and automatically respond to existing user queries. The first concrete application examples are direct access to backend systems and the use of various knowledge bases. In addition, the intent is to partially automate or completely redesign and largely automate existing processes in a subsequent step. The integration of the chatbot in Robotics will be a specific focus. In a further phase, the intent is to leverage this experience and these techniques to support customer-facing relationships.

Maintenance of run-of-river power plants

Several projects in the power plant sector in the reporting period dealt, among other things, with prolonging the service life, and with new methods for follow-up auditing of existing power plants. For example, technical monitoring of structures and crack documentation was considerably simplified by the use of drone flights. In addition, the use of a new plastic material instead of wood on the cogwheels of a hydroelectric power plant built in 1888-1889 significantly extended the service life without having to replace all of the historical technical equipment.


The Transform2LowEx project, carried out in cooperation with several project partners, is dedicated to systematically researching, implementing and evaluating secondary/customer-side energy efficiency-enhancing measures in existing heating networks with a focus on reducing the supply and return temperatures. These reductions can be achieved by identifying and implementing optimisation measures especially at existing customer plants.


PEAKApp is a European flagship project launched in 2016 to control energy consumption in households already equipped with smart meters. The app was developed in cooperation with 10 partners, with Energie AG performing the field tests with 1,600 domestic customers. PEAKApp enables households to receive messages when electrical energy is particularly cheap. The precise collection of consumption data and the comparison of one's own electricity consumption with the consumption of other community members (social metering) additionally increase customer benefits. This is supported by a newly developed online game that focuses on conscious use of energy. Results of the field test show that energy customers regularly use energy efficiency tools and achieve energy savings of between 4% and 7%. Furthermore, PEAKApp offers the opportunity to actively communicate with customers and establish close digital ties. The project, which was completed in the reporting period, also took second place in the EU Sustainability Awards.

Monitoring of electric mobility charging stations

The internal and public charging stations operated by Energie AG are subject to monitoring by the charging station management system. This serves to maximise technical availability and provide the best possible service, and reliable functionality, for the charging customer. This system is constantly being further developed in order to research into and answer future questions on e-mobility. This includes, among other things, regularly determining the use levels and capacity utilisation of the charging stations in operation in order to be able to determine a trend in terms of expanding the charging infrastructure – both internally and in the public space in Upper Austria. Energy and power measurements at Energie AG-internal facilities can be used, for example, to determine standby consumption and charging curves of the various charging stations and electric vehicles and to gain insights into practical requirements both for electric vehicle users and for charging station operators (example: capacity requirements).

ON voltage monitoring

This project focuses on recording voltage states on local grids with smart meters with a view to demand-oriented grid expansion. Voltage data is recorded across the area and mapped in the geographic information system (GIS). In future, it will be possible to derive improvement actions such as adapting the transformer stage position, symmetrisation, voltage control or further grid expansion for areas where the voltage quality limits have identifiably been reached.