Data collection and sharing are expanding at an exponential rate, providing both digital threats and significant opportunities. Customer attention is migrating to the online channel, with the added advantage of the Internet of Things providing new product and administration choices. Governments and regulatory organizations are attempting to push smarter measuring systems and cleaner standards for generation and consumption, while digital economy entrants are altering the industrial environment. To succeed in the face of these obstacles, the utility of the future needs to adapt to a fully digital system. This means that today’s utilities face the challenge of digital transformation to improve efficiency and expand the customer base. As the transformation builds momentum, it should open deeper digital opportunities across this wide field.
Overlaying these themes is the rapid advancement of digital technologies, which may be exhilarating at times. Artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud, and blockchain technologies can assist new entrants to disrupt the industry while also allowing incumbents to achieve new levels of performance. A lot could be at stake for those in charge, and even more, could be attainable. Utility firms, on the other hand, will need to build new competencies and adapt their working environments in order to prosper in this bright future. It's unlikely that they'll be able to keep doing what they've been doing for the last century.
The process of embracing new digital ways of working in the utility industry is known as digital transformation, and it is commonly used to help utilities reinvent themselves. Improved client interactions, simpler operations, increased efficiencies, and the prospect of initiating new company models are all common business aims.
The utility business has to drive this transformation, and the decisions they make now will have far-reaching consequences for future generations.
Companies in charge of gas utilities must work to develop intelligent solutions and energy efficiency in their own operations while also guaranteeing a safe and secure infrastructure for the environment today and in the future.
Gas utility businesses can start with more ambitious digital goals based on the experiences of other industries. They can plan to significantly increase dependability, productivity, and safety, as well as the customer experience, validation, and revenue control. Efficiency, productivity, customer experience, and future technologies are few challenges that they need to take care of, in the near future.
This blog will examine the various forces that are causing disruption and a change in the gas utility sector. We will look at the exciting future the industry is advancing towards and assist companies in establishing an online path to succeed in the coming years.
Enhancing efficiency and Productivity
Digital possibilities to enhance operations and enhance flexibility are accessible throughout all levels of the value chain. Conservative estimates backed by an analysis of real-world cases indicate that digital optimization could boost profits by 20-30 percent. Utilities are able to realize the majority of this potential through smart meters and the digital productive tools to employees as well as automation of back-office processes.
Smart meters are more efficient and need less expensive, allowing for greater asset health and less maintenance. Advanced Credit and collections algorithms that can determine which consumers may need assistance to require smart meters. From simple diagnostic tools to very complicated planning instruments, a variety of tools are utilized to better examine existing data. Utilities can use such systems to optimize staffing levels at plants and manage the complex energy landscape of renewable and traditional sources, trading options, and demand patterns.
Improving Consumer Journey - The use of AI
Utilities operating in competitive retail markets with typical regulatory regimes are battling to retain consumers and combat new threats posed by distributed generation. Utilities can boost customer satisfaction while lowering costs by digitizing the customer experience. There is also the possibility of increasing revenues in numerous areas. Most major gas utility companies have invested in mobile and web channels as a result of this potential. While the bulk of these attempts have been successful, some have fallen short in terms of usability and the integration of legacy and online sales channels.
What exactly is it that AI does? AI gives a clear view of the usage of energy by utility customers. Sophisticated algorithms assist in making sense of the data, and then translate it into useful information and suggestions utilities can offer to the customer to aid in solving their problems. It's similar to having a huge collection of super-smart data scientists who are constantly analyzing each utility's usage of energy.
Customers are able to ask questions like "Why is my bill so high? What can I do to save money? What can I do to lower my cost?"
This is just one instance of how the possibilities for improved customer service for utilities are growing and increasing. These enhancements give utilities crucial tools that not only enhance customers' service levels and customer satisfaction but also defend against competitive pressures.
Evolving markets - The future
Smart meters supply energy providers with precise information on every customer's consumption and production. Based on this, customized products can be designed for example, demand-response plans that offer discounts and rebates to consumers that allow utilities to regulate their usage with respect to their needs. Utilities are also signing maintenance contracts that offer distributed facilities better services based on the analysis of data. In the future, utilities may manage the distribution network and offer efficient hours to owners as well as other customers. In such cases, the combination of proximity to customers’ technology, expertise, and digital capabilities creates an advantage in competitiveness.
The enormous economic benefits of efficiency in energy have been embraced predominantly by large, energy-intensive industrial firms. This is due to the processes to identify opportunities and implementing solutions have been expensive and labor-intensive. With the popularity of smart meters growing this could mean that these costs will drop. The efficiency of smart meters is contingent on the gathering of precise information about consumption by residential and commercial customers. This data is available. Partnerships between real estate companies manufacturing plants, as well as energy companies could prove to be a successful model in which utilities play an engineering-based function, and have direct access to information on generation and consumption.
Even in the best-case scenario, it takes time to transform a utility to the point where it can fully utilize digital technology and procedures. To achieve it, a utility must adopt a digital working style, adapting digital mindset, training employees on digital skills, and upgrading its IT infrastructure. Companies that can quickly execute these changes have a better chance of acquiring market share from digital competitors and transformative incumbents.
While digital transformation plans may appear to a few businesses, the opportunity is far more valuable than the risk and cost. At some point, every utility will undergo the transformation. This trend is also taking place in all industrial sectors. Sectors that are digitally forward, like finance and retail have demonstrated the value of digitization is higher than any forecasted. For utilities, changes can result in improved productivity as well as revenue increases, greater security, and reliability of networks, increased customer retention, and acquisition, as well as the opportunity to enter new business sectors. The pressure to make changes is also a rare chance to revamp strategies as well as structures and processes from scratch. Companies that are prepared for future challenges in the market.