Four smart energy
powering the
future of utilities

Digital transformation is on the tip of every business leader’s tongue. From the hottest startups to the most entrenched legacy enterprises, IT leaders and their colleagues in the C-suite are working overtime to digitize processes, push data to the edge, and connect everything they can to the internet.

If that sounds energy-intensive, that’s because it is. As the population continues to grow and businesses become more connected, there will be a remarkable increase in demand on the energy grid and a need to leverage key energy management technologies to help ensure adequate energy generation.

According to McKinsey, energy consumption is expected to double by 2050 due to electrification across critical use cases, such as the rise of electric vehicles and increased living standards creating a demand for modern space cooling and heating systems in developing countries.

From smart homes to smart cities, the world now depends on a constant energy source to live and work, making energy reliability more imperative than ever.

Creating a bright future with smart energy management technologies

For utilities, this increased demand for smart energy is both an opportunity and a threat. Utilities who can effectively serve customers will experience strong growth, revenue and profits. However, utilities that can’t meet the needs of customers are at risk of complaints, increased regulatory oversight, and competition from new sources of energy like renewables.

By building a smarter infrastructure, utilities can collect and use data to learn about every aspect of their business. This allows them to make smarter decisions about everything from where to invest in new equipment to predictive maintenance that can identify potential issues before they cause major power failures.

Real-time visibility for real-world insight

There are four key smart energy management technologies that can give utilities the real-time insight into their infrastructure and operations that they require to operate efficiently, scale their service, control costs, and improve their customer service. Let’s look at each in a little more detail.

Distribution grid automation

Everything depends on the reliability, stability and uptime of your grid. With distribution grid automation, you can put the health of your entire infrastructure at your fingertips.

Wireless, internet-enabled sensors are placed throughout the grid to monitor power quality. Should something go wrong, the system will then send near real-time alerts, informing you about outages, faults, and restorations in high-value assets. This enables you to react faster to issues and effectively deploy maintenance crews, engineers, and others exactly when and where they can have the most impact, dramatically reducing your service response time.

In addition, distribution grid automation can help you conduct and perform predictive maintenance. Instead of waiting for an asset to fail at an inopportune time or conducting needless maintenance based on a schedule when an underused asset might not need it, predictive maintenance can tell you exactly when an asset requires inspection and preemptive repair. This allows you to intelligently schedule maintenance so that you aren’t repairing something that doesn’t need it while avoiding costly downtime due to unexpected failure, allowing you to limit equipment damage while improving your reliability scores.

Smart metering

Success depends not only on a granular view of the status of the grid, but on your ability to decipher, coordinate, and fulfill the many requests sent by every location, account, user and device that comes online.

Smart metering can help you capture and analyze monthly data reads so you can intelligently adjust your energy distribution and usage. Internet-connected meters collect information remotely and wirelessly in near real-time to help you quickly identify issues and monitor consumption.

By integrating your systems, devices and data together, you can enhance your billing capabilities, streamline response times to customers, and more accurately charge for the energy being used, which can encourage conservation. In addition, smart metering allows you to monitor all your meters from a single pane of glass, saving teams from having to go out into the field to read meters manually. This information not only helps you boost customer satisfaction and achieve your business objectives, but allows you to become a more data-driven enterprise.

Remote monitoring

Your network of energy assets like fuel tanks, switchgear and transformers are the backbone of your enterprise. However, your maintenance engineers often spend too much time going from asset to asset to write down numbers on a dial. Not only is this inefficient and time-consuming, but it ends up leaving data stuck on a clipboard instead of in the cloud where it can be used across the enterprise.

Remote monitoring allows you to monitor condition data of any asset at any time from your workstation, tablet, and smartphone. Because data is collected digitally, it allows you to collect data from previously-siloed systems, unlocking the opportunity to combine data and unleash new insights.

Because your staff is freed from having to go from asset to asset to collect data, enter it into a spreadsheet, and then finally analyze it, they will then have more time available for taking data-driven action like predictive maintenance. This allows staff to schedule maintenance and the delivery of replacement parts or equipment proactively, instead of as an emergency response. In addition, staff will be more productive as they are able to know ahead of time what the issue is, and what they need to bring to fix it, before they get to the asset.

Field force management

When a customer needs help, you need to be able to react instantly. In an era where people can order food delivery, rideshares, and groceries at the push of a smartphone button, asking customers to wait hours or even days for a service technician is no longer an option.

Field force management helps multiply the power of your fleet by providing near real-time insight into the activities of all your service staff. This data lets you schedule the closest or most available crews more intelligently, allowing you to redeploy staff on the fly. You can also automatically calculate the most efficient drive route, reduce paperwork onsite, and troubleshoot issues ahead of time–slashing your response and onsite time while dramatically improving customer satisfaction.

Meet your modern energy demands

By drawing upon Verizon’s experience in global connectivity and our management technologies can help you operate a secure energy distribution service that could offer dynamic scalability, lower costs, and the ability to give customers more choice and control over how they consume energy. The right smart energy management technologies can help to keep your office and mobile staff connected with your data, your assets, and each other.

Find out how Verizon’s Smart Energy and Utilities Solutions can help you operate more efficiently, effectively and collaboratively.