multiple electricity meters on a wall

The digital transformations the utility industry can expect in the future

Ebin Thomas

Account Executive at Anyline

May 05, 2022

Digital transformation in utilities is the wave of the future. It’s changing the landscape for businesses all throughout the world, and bringing together areas such as:

  1. The capture of mobile data for customers and workforces
  2. Real-time, decentralized, energy data that’s driven by AI
  3. Energy fraud detection through machine learning algorithms
  4. High-end advances in the cybersecurity field

Let’s look at these areas, and how they all come together to digitally transform utilities with the help of OCR and mobile data capture. Here’s what utility operators need to know.

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Real-Time, Decentralized, Energy Data That’s Driven by AI

AI is showing its value in areas such as grid operations, asset coordination, renewable energy forecasting, and material innovation. Even though AI’s potential has been demonstrated in the energy sector, there have been a lot of restrictions on acceptance and innovation. That means there’s a big opportunity to push AI forward and give it a more prominent role in the transition to zero-emission systems.

There is a rising demand for electrification, along with increased interest in renewables. The market is reacting to those things, and a lot of real-time operations at utilities are being affected. A decentralized approach will allow investors to get involved in the energy market, helping utilities to increase earnings. When done right, everyone will benefit from this and energy success will continue to grow. The customers, operators, and overall market all win with a decentralized model.

Energy Fraud Detection Through Machine Learning Algorithms

Energy fraud is a problem for many countries, even with advancements in digitization. Particularly in emerging economies, non-technical losses can account for nearly 25 to 30 percent of the distribution network. Naturally, that’s a serious issue for the utilities and the customers, as it lowers profits and drives up rates. Addressing these losses is extremely important.

Forensic technologies developed for utilities are using a machine learning algorithm to make the detection of energy fraud easier. These technologies are being integrated into the devices technicians use, so utility companies can benefit. Some of the biggest benefits include:

  • Verifying the authenticity of the meter the technicians are scanning
  • Scanning the serial number or barcode to make sure it’s the right meter
  • Capturing the meter reading and photo, so the scanned data is automatically linked to photographic proof.

Not only are these features extremely beneficial to utilities in trying to combat fraud, but the features can combine with:

  • Geo-localization, to ensure the meter that was read was in the right place.
  • Time stamping, to prove the data capture was recent, and old data isn’t being used.

With the ability to include all those features and benefits, energy fraud can be greatly reduced

In the end, technology can improve the many different aspects of the utility industry and the problems it’s facing. Mobile data capture can empower customers to read their own meters, or give better tools for utility workers to gather that data efficiently and accurately. By adopting this kind of technology, utility companies can cross part of the problems from their list and focus more on issues that are harder to face, like securing their network physically as well as digitally

If you are interested in mobile meter reading and how you can start using it with your existing processes and devices, try our 30-day free SDK trial or contact us today!