Technological controls and data analytics can reduce consumption
Advanced technologies found their way into the power and energy sectors decades ago. Many of the power utilities companies already used analytic software and smart meters in their transmission and distribution networks. Customers already enjoy real time mobile energy management and billing apps designed to improve energy efficiency.
With the introduction of more smart home devices, power utility companies found themselves forced to enter the era of digital technologies heavily. New technologies, micro grids, analytics software, and intelligent substations are on their way to the grid. Power companies started acquiring data science companies that have energy management services to collect the huge amount of data available from their customers. The customers already started using smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home, a virtual assistants that can be connected to control lights through voice commands, and can even control security systems, as well as smart appliances and heating systems such as smart thermostat which regulates temperature to provide the right temperature without wasting energy. Some studies are expecting that “80% of smartphone or tablet owners either currently, or plan to, control a connected home device in the next years”. The new installations are more of gateway hubs now and that is why we see utilities companies around the world are adapting new emerging technologies, and digital infrastructure that will support the integration of today’s new generation and storage technologies onto the grid for a better performance.
The Technological Transformation is not an option any more
Utilities know well that with today’s technology, their customers not only want to choose who supply their power, but also how it is generated. It is not an option any more for utilities to modernize their grid and integrate renewables generation, it is a requirement. In order to meet their customer and investor’s expectations, utility companies will have to invest heavily in such advanced technologies such as and making significant changes to their structures while meeting traditional expectations from regulators and customers. The world is changing at rapid speed and technologies such Artificial Intelligent, Internet of Things, Virtual Assistance are re-shaping the utility industry.