The demand for energy is increasing as the world’s population grows and people use more technology.
Electricity, water and gas all consume power in residential and commercial areas, and getting a grasp on that consumption can be difficult.
Supply and demand vary throughout the year. However, Internet of Things (IoT) devices can help utility companies and consumers get a clearer picture.
The IoT provides data that helps workers and users visualize their energy consumption levels and figure out what changes they need to make to boost efficiency.
IoT enables companies to push their services forward. Smart meters are versatile tools for energy. Utility workers can attach them to buildings or a power source to properly monitor how much is going in and out of the location.
For instance, if a company attached a smart meter to your home, it would read how much energy you consume.
The utility processes this data and sends it back to you. A platform like Qubino’s smart energy meter lets you use a smartphone app to see what is using the most energy and when. You can then make immediate changes.
The average United States household has a $2,200 electricity bill every year. Smart meters allow consumers to have more control over their energy. Once they make alterations, their usage becomes much more efficient and cost-effective.
Utility companies can expand outward and work with city officials, too. Smart meters can be installed in industrial buildings, government agencies and public works.
They can track infrastructure energy efficiency, transmitting data back and forth. With residential and commercial real-time data, utilities can better track and predict energy consumption trends and distribute it all more efficiently.
Electricity is not the only resource to optimize. Water scarcity is a prevalent issue, so conserving it is a must. In places like California, residents and businesses need to save as much water as possible. Fortunately, IoT has utility solutions for water efficiency as well.
IoT sensors can track and report on factors like water pressure, quality, temperature and overall consumption.
Too often, water goes to waste while people wait for the shower to heat up or for the pressure to get better. Using IoT to track these data points will help utility companies and consumers cut down on water waste.
Certain items, like sinks, toilets and hoses, are prone to leaks. With IoT smart detectors, you can stop the leak as soon as it happens. Undetected, these drips waste water — and the costs add up quickly.
A more energy-efficient solution is to use IoT sensors in these areas. They send out alerts when problems arise. Honeywell and Samsung are two leading companies in this field.
As with smart meters, utility companies can also use IoT leak detections for citywide projects, optimizing the entire area with simple yet powerful technology.
Integrating With New Tech
IoT utility devices need a strong network to operate on. Without one, users and workers may experience latency and a lack of efficiency, which can cut into customer satisfaction. The 5G network is rolling out around the world and promises fast connectivity.
These network needs are accelerating at warp speed due to COVID-19. According to a case study, the energy sector will see electricity demand increase to 40% throughout 2025. The pandemic enabled working from home and spiked unemployment, and people are staying home more than ever and increasing their energy needs and consumption.
Utility companies can focus on renewable energy to bring about drastic energy efficiency changes while using new technology.
Resources like solar and wind power and microgrids all need meters and sensors for monitoring energy production. Workers can use the data to understand how production affects supply and demand levels.
IoT, renewables and 5G will all work hand-in-hand, with utility companies providing the tech and data to connect it all. This change is the ultimate step for IoT energy efficiency.
The Changing Landscape
Factors like the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic change the way people use and conserve energy. IoT can help people get a better handle on their consumption, creating a more cost-effective and less wasteful energy landscape for everyone.
I’m Shannon, a technophile, freelance writer, and editor of ReHack Magazine. This is where I share my words with the world.