The development and validation phase for the Endesa Confía project, which uses blockchain technology to combat energy poverty, has been successfully completed in Malaga.
Ayesa, in collaboration with Izertis, is responsible for developing and implementing this system, the first of its kind in Europe. Specifically, the two companies are working on a web portal, an application programming interface (API) and, in terms of blockchain, smart contracts and the configuration and deployment of nodes.
This initial test run has shown how effective the decentralised system is at providing real-time information on vulnerable customers to the various organisations involved, including Malaga City Council, which is responsible for providing assistance to those who are unable to pay their electricity bill.
A blockchain is a distributed ledger, meaning that the database is maintained and held by all nodes in the network, allowing information to be encrypted and making it more secure than a traditional database. By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data involved whilst ensuring transparency and traceability.
Once things get back to normal following the health crisis caused by COVID-19, Confía will allow local social services to identify such customers in less time, check if they are receiving a discount on their electricity bill, and if not, help them get assistance, thereby avoiding their electricity being cut off.
Up until now, if a customer was in arrears, the process for helping them get assistance was extremely complicated, and required action to be taken by different organisations, none of which had an overview of the entire process. As required by law, Endesa would provide the regional government with information on such customers, which would then pass it on to the relevant local council for the latter to provide assistance where necessary.
Malaga City Council is expected to begin using the system in the next few months and, providing there are no glitches in terms of scalability and functionality, it will be gradually introduced across Spain.
Ayesa has more than three decades of experience in the integration and development of IT systems for utility companies and social services around the world.