Have you ever thought about the amount of energy you consume just by leaving your laptop plugged in overnight? We might not know how many kilowatt hours we transmit, but we do know there is a bill at the end of each month associated with those kinds of statistics. Through smart meters, utility and energy companies must have an accurate account of energy consumption in order to prevent outages, increase grid reliability, and detect fraud. The challenge becomes making sure the dollars they charge matches up to the data they collect.
Big Data Outages
There was a time when utility companies would only do monthly reporting of electricity meters. With the advent of smart meters, this collection of data went from months to multiple times an hour. For customers, they want the lights on when they come home and be able to charge their phone before bed. Not only that, but they don’t want to be charged for energy they aren’t using. The onus is on energy companies to make sure they have actionable intelligence from Big Data to create pricing structures based on consumption during different times of day and seasons. This kind of efficiency can only exist if the company is collecting, transmitting, analyzing and storing data from smart meters.
The utility industry as a whole already has tough challenges beyond customer’s receiving their bills each month. The stringent regulatory requirements, demands for alternative energy sources, and aging technologies have put companies under great pressures to maintain the level of customer satisfaction they have, if not exceed previous benchmarks. In today’s competitive market, if a company is ill-equipped to process and store Big Data with legacy database platforms, they won’t be able to keep their own lights on.
Flicking the ‘On’ Switch
Installing an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) means that the data architectures must be kept up-to-date as well. It was a simpler time when companies could send meter readers out to collect data and report back once a month. Not only is this inefficient, but customers have limited perception of how their consumption translates to a monthly bill. Smart meters collect information regularly, but this also means there is a vast amount of streaming data continually coming into the business.
Enhancing grid visibility needs to happen at a great scale by combining historical analysis of past trends with the new continual stream of data-in-motion. This means monitoring meters and various assets in real time. Hortonworks Connected Data Platform and a 100% open-source solution empowers energy companies to take their data from various sources to make intelligent decisions about energy efficiency and remote operations support. Visibility into grid operations means millions of dollars in savings. Reducing churn, targeted marketing, and value-added services like budget billing, optimizes the relationship between energy provider and the customer. Companies don’t have to operate without visibility into their data anymore and customers won’t be left in the dark.
For more information about how to increase energy efficiency with growing trends like the Internet of Things, visit us today.