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Energy Fraud Detection

Challenge details

Name: Energy Fraud Detection
Challenge type: Reduction to Practice (RTP)
Award: $30000
Deadline: 3rd Feb 2023

Challenge overview

ABSTRACT

According to the most recent research by the Economist Intelligent Unit [1], fraudulent behavior and illegal connections in the electricity distribution network reported by energy companies have increased significantly in recent years. These behaviors generally result in a discrepancy between the amount of energy declared by the consumer versus the amount actually used, leading to accounting problems and significant financial losses for the energy company. However, early detection of energy fraud is not particularly well developed because it relies on rather complex predictive systems. For these reasons, A2A is looking for advanced analytics software systems that can support it in identifying and preventing fraudulent behavior in its network, optimizing the number of checks and thus reducing the costs associated with them.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation and experimental proof-of-concept data if available. The Seeker will test promising solutions for their ability to meet the requirements of the Challenge.

 

OVERVIEW

Utilities provide an essential service, supplying electricity to homes, businesses, and factories and monitoring the consumption of individual customers, capturing data to further develop their services. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, however, many European companies have reported that financial losses due to fraud (estimated at up to 5 percent of the company's annual profit) are on the rise as fraud techniques have become increasingly sophisticated in identifying companies' weaknesses.

As a result of this trend, there has been an increase in the imbalance between energy billed and energy supplied, termed "non-technical losses" to differentiate it from technical losses related to power grid malfunctions. Actual methods of committing fraud include:

  1. Tampering with the meter and connection to the riser (this is a modification that is made inside the meter: the contacts that register the absorption are opened and welded).
  2. Direct connections to the network before the meter to bypass it.
  3. Tampering with the meter to slow down or stop the consumption through a magnet.
  4. Simply by connecting to the distribution network without having a contract with the company or a meter.

For these reasons, A2A is looking for proven software systems that can model the consumer's energy consumption behavior under normal conditions and monitoring it to detect anomalies that indicate fraudulent activity, achieving a higher detection rate than current methodology.

The Challenge award is subject to theoretical evaluation and experimental validation of the submitted solutions by A2A.

To receive the award, Solvers must transfer their exclusive intellectual property (IP) rights to the solution to A2A. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on February 3, 2023.

Late submissions will not be considered.

 

ELIGIBILITY

Employees of A2A Group and their families are not eligible to receive awards for this Challenge.

        

ABOUT THE SEEKER

The A2A Group is the largest Italian multi utility, at the forefront of territorial services and technological solutions for ten years, with one hundred years of history and experience. We design smart and sustainable cities, with respect for the people who live there, we are protagonists of energy transition and we implement the principle of the circular economy in all of our activities. With a far-reaching strategic plan, we manage the generation, sale and distribution of electricity and gas, district heating, waste collection and recovery, e-mobility, public lighting and the integrated water services.

 

What is the Wazoku Crowd?

Imagine a world where any problem you have can be looked at by millions of expert, motivated eyes. The Wazoku Crowd makes this possible. With twenty years of experience in crowdsourcing, the Wazoku Crowd is the gold standard for open talent and external innovation solutions. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with the Wazoku Crowd to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an RTP Challenge?

A Wazoku Crowd RTP (Reduction to Practice) Challenge is a prototype that proves an idea, and is similar to a Wazoku Crowd Theoretical Challenge in its high level of detail. However, an RTP requires the Solver to submit a validated solution, either in the form of original data or a physical sample. Also, the Seeker is allowed to test the proposed solution. For details about treatment of Intellectual Property (IP) rights, please see the Challenge Specific Agreement.