Smart utilities are businesses that provide services to consumers in exchange for money. This includes local Water, Electricity and Transport, Gas providers. They’re different from traditional utilities because they offer products and services that improve people’s lives. For example, a smart utility could be a software app that helps you track the household consumptions and manage your finances better.
Understand the Difference Between a Service Business and a Product Business.
There are two main ways to build smartness into a utility company: as a service business or as a product business. In a service business, the company provides a service to its customers. It might be a restaurant that serves food, a cleaning service that cleans homes, or a car repair shop that fixes cars. These businesses provide a service to their customers in exchange for money.
In contrast, a product business sells a tangible good or service to its customers. Think of Amazon.com, Apple, or Google. These companies sell products to their customers in exchange of money.
3 Key Areas for Building Smart Utility
Customers are always right. Therefore, as a company, we need to study our customers, manage customer relationship, and enhance customer experience. This includes presenting information to customers with tariff modelling and forecasting for the peak demands. Automated utility consumption balance and loss detection and environment analytics. The goal is to make data transparent to all customers for their decision making and save their money.
Nowadays, most operations can be conducted remotely via SCADA and telemetry systems. The conventional SCADA includes Wide Area Data Collection platforms such as GeoSCADA and Network Management. However, the demand for Anticritical Intelligent (AI), remote smart sensors and CCTV vision analysis is increasing to be either part of the SCADA platforms or added on to the platforms. The key areas for operations are decisions making, generating & conveyancing of the product, maintenance. All three areas can be aided with AI.
Assets include water pump stations, valves, tanks, and reservoirs, or for power industry, substations, power stations etc. As the number of assets increases year by year, the key challenges are asset design, asset planning and delivery to cope with population growth.
SCADA systems provides data to data historians (or data warehouses) for data storage, which in turns is used by data analyst and project managers for asset analytics, planning and delivery.
Australian Control Engineering is focused on building smart utilities for our customers. If you would like to know more about our capability and how this would benefit your business. Please contact us today. We are keen to understand your requirement and offer solutions.