2021 Trend Almanac: Technologies and trends that will dominate the business and consumer landscape. Get instant access
Smart Utilities refer to gas, electric, and water companies that utilize connected sensors throughout their grids to analyze operations and increase the efficiency of service delivery. Smart utilities employ the Internet of Things (IoT) approach to connect all devices and integrate new digital technologies to streamline business operations.
The Utility sector is confined by strict local and global regulations and is required to preserve fundamental infrastructure. Utility companies have worked for years with a range of discrete systems, however, distribution, billing, consumption, and overall account management were all done with separate tools. Smart utilities are different. These systems and tools are all connected, which aids in efficiency and usability but requires exceptional increases in security.
However, utilities using the smart grid's combined communications framework can access detection and mitigation solutions for physical and cyber threats. This foundation supports a wide range of generation options and reduces the aftereffects of a system attack.
Discovering new and evolving problems in real-time can improve an asset's performance by generating repairs automatically to prevent unexpected service disruptions. Smart technologies' use of decision-support systems allows for autonomous knowledge and understanding of when there is an imminent need to rapidly decrease usage and respond accordingly to various adverse conditions.
Smart grid technology will extend the long-term usage and value of current production methods, integrate more renewable energy, decrease carbon emissions, and upgrade power quality per new digital demands.
Smart grids are also capable of enlisting support from alternate distributed energy resources, helping to balance a system's needs. This functionality increases operational flexibility, enhances transmission and distribution systems, and reduces the risk of grid failure.
Utilizing the real-time data provided by smart technology can enhance operational efficiency, inform better business decisions, and enable inaccessible meters and sensors to be remotely monitored. Improvements to smart grids will allow for more responsive adjustments to system overload, including alternative sources of energy such as solar and wind power.