The Benefits of Smart Utilities Management

The Benefits of Smart Utilities Management

– By Shea Karssing

October 27, 2022

How smart utilities management takes on the challenges of the future

Smart utilities management has held exciting potential for growth for some time. Applications around electricity seeing positive results that could easily extend to gas, water, heating, and waste. As the world becomes more digitized, the management of utilities is also evolving. In the past, energy providers relied on traditional methods to manage the supply and demand of energy, which could often lead to inefficiencies and higher costs for consumers. With the development of smart utilities management, this is starting to change. 

However, recent energy market challenges have seen setbacks around greener alternative energy sources and skyrocketing prices. 

The challenges facing the energy grid

As the world’s population grows and cities expand, the demand for utilities like electricity, water, and gas is increasing at an unprecedented rate. The management of these resources has become a critical issue as providers seek to optimize their operations and reduce waste. The combination of growing demand, market strain from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has resulted in a global energy crisis. As many countries navigate uncertainty around price caps and supply, the importance of smart utilities management has never been more pronounced. According to the World Bank, energy prices are expected to rise by an average of 50% in 2022, which will impact market growth for years to come. 

This comes at a time when utilities were already under pressure to meet sustainable environmental objectives, with reduced waste, reliable supply, and increased public demand – and at a reasonable cost. This put the shortcomings of traditional systems under scrutiny and the future of smart utilities was set on course. 

What are smart utilities?

Smart utilities are driven by the adoption of smart metering technology and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity. Smart meters are one of the most common solutions used in smart utilities management. They are used in residential, commercial and industrial settings to monitor a range of utilities such as electricity, water, and gas. Governments worldwide have mandated the installation of smart meters in a bid to better manage supply and demand of utilities. The global expansion of smart meter deployments has been driven, in part, by governmental regulation, due to a requirement for real-time consumption data to better manage supplies. 

What is smart utilities management? 

Smart utilities management is a system of connected devices used to collect, collate and analyse data to improve communication, efficiencies, monitoring, and reporting. This can be used across electricity, gas, water, heating, and waste utilities. These IoT sensors more effectively report on usage for strategic analysis and enhanced delivery. This also has the potential to be used as a component of broader smart council management and the evolution of smart cities

How do smart utilities work? 

Smart utilities management uses a range of technologies to monitor and control energy consumption. This includes the use of smart meters, which measure energy usage in real-time and provide consumers with detailed information about their energy consumption. This information can be used to identify areas where energy is being wasted, and to make changes to reduce energy usage. 

Another key technology used in smart utilities management is the IoT. This involves connecting devices and systems to the internet, allowing them to communicate with each other and share data. This allows for more accurate monitoring of energy usage and can help identify issues before they become major problems. 

The benefits of smart utilities management

There are several benefits to smart utilities management. One of the most significant is the ability to reduce energy consumption and save money on energy bills. By identifying areas where energy is being wasted, consumers can make changes to reduce their usage and save money. 

Smart utilities management also helps to reduce the environmental impact of energy consumption. By using renewable energy sources and optimizing energy usage, it is possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to a more sustainable future. 

Finally, smart utilities management can also improve the reliability of energy supply. By using real-time data analysis, it is possible to identify issues before they become major problems, reducing the risk of power outages and other disruptions. 

Smart utilities management 

  • Reduces consumption 
  • Saves money on energy bills 
  • Reduces environmental impact 
  • Improve the reliability of supply 
  • Creates significant savings opportunities for customers and providers alike 

The future of smart utilities is driven by sustainability 

The monitoring power of data from smart utilities systems is where it all starts, allowing exact usage to be monitored, trends to be extracted for long-term strategy and supply, and for accurate billing – together with myriad other applications for utilities monitoring. 

What can be effectively monitored can be better managed – and utilities are no exception. Energy monitoring is the first step in accurately identifying priority areas for change. By using smart utilities management, companies can offer their customers user-friendly and simple digital tools to set attainable efficiency targets, with a real-time way to control usage and monitor effectiveness in the short, medium, and long term. 

An enormous amount of waste is attributed to distribution faults, meter errors, tampering, and theft every year. Real-time data monitoring and alerts mean action can be taken almost immediately to reduce waste and cost. Features like two-way communication and automation allow for both alerts and remote action to mitigate losses as much as possible. For instance, a single instance of abnormal usage detected by smart water meters can save millions of litres of water and thousands of dollars in waste and damage. 

Smart utilities management provides enhanced customer experiences 

Power consumption is set to more than double by 2050 according to McKinsey. As a result, providers need to innovate to ensure reliable supply and limited disruptions for a growing demand. The reliable supply of utilities has its foundation in determining consumption patterns and building accordingly. Smart technologies provide powerful data insights, with real time applicability and pinpoint accuracy to adapt to growing demand. This innovation is invaluable against the backdrop of increased uptake of electric vehicles and tightening environmental regulations. 

Smart utilities management is a clear commitment to environmental concerns by providers. As awareness around acting against climate change grows, so this affects consumer choices. Smart advancements can be taken even further than the simple running of internal systems. The benefit can be offered directly to the customer in meaningful ways, with providers offering a data-inspired roadmap for improved efficiencies based on their actual usage. For example, providers can alert customers on usage during peak hours, unusual activity, or tampering – and advise or even automate the best course of action. 

Improved energy efficiency means costs savings for customers. Smart utilities also come with the benefit of a more accurate billing model. This, in turn, means improved customer service and reduced customer complaints. It also means that customer service personnel have easily accessible data insights upon which to report to their customers. This creates a true culture of transparency, reduces the risk of human error, and simplifies dispute resolution. 

Smart utilities management and supply security 

Digital transformation involves concerns around cybercrime. This makes security a priority of every smart utilities management system. Orion, The Real Time Data Network™, is a zero-trust network combines the benefits of easy integration, connection, and scalability with security features. 

Smart utilities are key in evolving utilities 

The growing reliance on safe, reliable utilities means the market is poised for digital transformation. As a global emergency, governments around the world are also formulating policy around climate change. These digital tools have a vital role to play in the realistic achievement of environmental benchmarks. In future, left will be left to chance and more will rely on the accuracy and actionability of data. 

Smart Utilities Management: How technology is changing the face of energy consumption 

Electricity production relies on the accuracy of customer data to generate electricity to meet consumer demand and balance the grid. Smart utilities give producers both broad and individual insights to take their offering into the future.  

Smart utilities management is changing the face of energy consumption. By using advanced technology to optimize the production, distribution and consumption of energy, it is possible to reduce costs, improve sustainability and enhance the reliability of energy supply. The future of smart utilities also embraces systems of automation. Remote control of water, for example, allows for adjustment of pressure, monitored flow, and swift and effective reaction when it comes to leaks or unusual activities. 

As governments and consumers make the shift to renewable energy sources, smart utilities have the potential to streamline the transition, mitigate disruptions, and report on ROI through real-time data monitoring, alerts, and reporting

Why are utilities using Orion connectivity? 

Smart utilities management relies on connectivity, and cellular and mobile IoT connectivity offer advantages for utility companies, including broad reach across inhabited areas, low infrastructure and installation costs, and quick implementation times. The future of smart utilities is predicated on effective connection – and this has various levels of complexity for utilities to overcome for uniform integration of smart technologies. Orion, The Real-Time Data Network™, removes many of the impediments experienced across traditional network solutions. Some of the major benefits of Orion include: 

  • Fast and easy deployment that is easily integrable 
  • Reliable coverage 
  • Cost-effective 
  • Scalable 
  • Wireless 
  • Long-range 
  • Global 
  • SIM-free 

Orion from Smarter Technologies Group also has an almost unlimited range of applications, allowing for the real-time monitoring and tracking of people, utilities, and assets. Get in touch to find out more about implementing smart utilities management today. 

Contact us today to see how Orion™ The Real-Time Data Network can benefit your business.

Our experts are on-hand to advise you on the most efficient and cost-effective smart technology solutions for your business’ needs.

Contact details

Tel: 0330 223 5000

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 8:30am - 4:30pm
Wednesday 8am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 4pm

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.