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

The challenges

The combination of 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 management is a system of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices used to collect data and collate 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.

The benefits of smart utilities management

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.

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.

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.

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?

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, The Real-Time Data Network™ 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.

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