To be in the competition, every company has to keep its operational costs under control. One of the most important aspect to achieve this is to optimise the usage and cost of energy. The grids and processes of any energy source – electricity, water or gas are the backbones of many industries globally. For efficient use and to avoid power losses, they need to be monitored smartly.
The world of power and utilities is undergoing a transformation, owing to the improvements brought in by IoT through smart meters and smart energy grids. The smart grid technology is currently seeing a growth rate of 19.4% and is expected to become a US$50.6 billion market by 2022.
Smart digital meters record and transmit energy consumption information to the utility every few minutes. This data is enabling companies to monitor power generation, consumption while also analyzing consumer demand and power outages. The data is stored in such a way that right decision is made regarding things like energy constraints, energy-saving measures, theft, loss, and customer service. Smart digital meters are extensively used for industries, power generators, and residences.
With this effect today, there are many tech giants that are leveraging analytics and big data technologies to manage the huge volume of complex data t0 produce actionable insights. The need for analytics in the field of energy and utilities has surged in the last few years. To help you understand the competitive landscape, we have covered a few of such vendors that stand out in providing such technologies.
BuildingIQ, currently functioning in North America and Australia, provides predictive Energy Optimization (PEO) solutions for large building complexes. The company’s software captures thermodynamics information of buildings along with weather forecast in every five minutes. It helps to direct the building in reducing its own energy consumption, which in turn reduces energy-cost and carbon footprints. Factors like energy pricing and occupancy schedules of the building are also monitored for efficient power management.
Siemens provides customized, industry-specific services that allow installing data acquisition system to your existing systems. The Siemens Energy Service Centre uses the existing system data to provide intelligent reports and analytics. Their totally integrated power (TIP) services provide power management solutions to buildings, industries, data centers, etc.
Leveraging IoT for making the commercial buildings smart, Enlighted Inc. has helped automate and connect buildings for AT&T, California State University, San Jose City hall, to name a few. The Enlighted sensors and analytics platform collect information like human activity, occupancy to control factors including lighting, air-conditioning to make the spaces more comfortable while smartly managing energy usage.
Founded in 2010, Bidgely’s technology does not rely on sensors but performs disaggregation from the meter data alone. Using machine learning algorithms, it extracts appliance fingerprints data from the smart meter as well as an analog meter to produce itemised bills and insights. This way the installation of expensive equipment can be avoided. It has been recognized as the most accurate provider for appliance detection and usage estimation.
Opower is a smart grid software company, a subsidiary of Oracle, that uses data analytics to help gas and oil utilities in analyzing the household energy usage pattern without installing any extra hardware. The company provides various products and services to manage the whole utility chain – from meters to end users.
Ecova is a leading energy management platform with 26% of the Fortune 500 companies as its customers. The platform unites electricity, carbon, water and waste data to achieve sustainability goals while pinpointing consumption trends, operational inefficiencies and key factors for cost reduction. In 2014, the company was acquired by Cofely, a global leader in energy efficiency.
EnergyCAP services include utility bill management tools for auditing and tracking bills. The tool collects a history of the energy consumption in organizations using graphs and tables. It also provides an interface with finance based software such as SAP, Oracle, MR to maintain the data. The utility bills data is used to calculate companys’ carbon footprint and greenhouse emissions.
One of the leading smart grid providers, Silver Spring Networks create wireless mesh networks to transmit the data from meters through grids to consumers and utilities. The distributed mesh network eliminates the single point of failure that usually plagues IoT platforms. It also provides security through the network. Silver Spring Networks has partnered with 40 companies to provide advanced metering and automation.
The French multinational has a very broad product line from energy management software to operations control solutions. Their Ecostruxure, an open, IoT-enabled system architecture improves energy and operational efficiency using IoT platforms. This makes precise predictions for better decisions regarding energy usage. Schneider Electric serves four main markets that consume about 70% of the world’s energy. The company’s reach is making a significant difference in the field of smart energy consumption.
A leader in intelligent energy usage, EnerNOC provides a complete solution to monitor inefficiencies, simplify the reporting process and secure cross-team communications. It pays the businesses for reducing the energy consumptions which can be reinvested back into businesses and other energy projects. The company also provides counseling for executing an energy reduction plan. The customers include top players in diverse industries such as PepsiCo, P&G etc.
Data is considered to be the new renewable resource for energy and utilities industry. By adopting analytics, these companies provide effective data-driven decision making and smart operations management. It helps them to engage with customers in highly personalized ways. In the near future, most established companies will be looking for a partnership with such technology providers making it a huge prospect in terms of high return on investment.