SMART UTILITY: THE IOT OF PUBLIC UTILITY SERVICES
Whether it is light, gas, or water, the supply of resources is subjected to increasing pressure on efficiency and sustainability.
These are critical services; they must meet continuity and security levels and also imply investments.
For this reason, the IoT turnaround has been somewhat slower. However, the opportunities are enormous.
In Europe, regulations have started a no-return digital transformation process.
SMART UTILITY: A CHANGE OF PARADIGM FOR MORE INTELLIGENT SERVICES
New forms of pervasive connectivity, immense data availability, possibility to manage them in a distributed way thanks to edge intelligence and process automation, and blockchain technologies: Everything starts from here.
These are just some of the technologies that create new opportunities to modernize, through interconnection, the management of utility services, and improving sustainability, efficiency, and quality of service.
With the complicity of some rules in the field of smart metering, smart utility services, according to Gartner, will grow in 2020 by 20.79%, a trend confirmed up to 2025 also by Research & Reports.
A SMART WATER IOT APPLICATION
Here is the challenge of AIMAG, the group that manages energy, water, environmental, and technological services in the province of Modena, Italy: monitoring of electricity consumption, presence of heavy metals or toxic substances, water and leakage flows, gas and radiation, and much more.
With IoT, you can set up an advanced water cycle management application, based on real-time data, aimed at increasing service sustainability, and security and efficiency. This is why we talk about smart water.
EMERGING APPLICATIONS IN THE SMART UTILITY SECTOR
The path of digital transformation of the utilities is gradual. It starts with asset digitization, which collects data (smart meters and connected plants).
The next stage concerns preventive and predictive maintenance to anticipate breakdowns and reduce maintenance costs through self-regulation mechanisms of services, optimizing consumption, and maximizing service quality.
Here are the most consolidated applications in the fields of smart water, smart gas, and smart energy.
SMART UTILITY: WHICH BOUNDARIES?
The concept of smart utility is broader than smart light, smart gas, and smart water services.
The idea of smart services toward a territory can be extended to include mobility, waste management, and even smart citizen services.
The potential of IoT platforms, therefore, extends to a wide range of applications, as long as they manage typical complexity of the utility world. These include:
- continuity of connectivity
THE ADVANTAGES OF IOT APPLICATIONS FOR UTILITIES
The application of IoT in utilities responds first and foremost to the imperative of sustainability. However, the advantages of smart water, smart metering, smart energy, and smart lighting applications are much wider.
of maintenance costs
SMART UTILITY: THE RECURRENT QUESTIONS
In 2020 and the following years, utility companies will increase the use of IoT solutions to improve operational efficiency, the reliability of services, worker safety, and the customer experience.
Some questions are still open. We know how to answer:
- How to create an intelligent, distributed service network?
- How to deal with security challenges?
- How to combine edge intelligence and cloud computing?