Serving customers and the planet – How to drive sustainability transformation in Utility companies

Joanna Stefańska

We are all working towards more sustainable production and distribution of utilities. Governments and regulatory bodies seek to encourage smarter measuring systems and greener standards for generation and consumption. Customers also actively participate in this transformation, forming new habits and investing in their homes. Thanks to that almost all customers will soon be equipped with smart meters.

Changes like these are driving the industry transformation to be more sustainable. At the same time, new dispersed renewable production equipment and recycling systems can pose a threat to existing old technical and management systems. To deal with that, utility companies have to be able to actively manage the network and account for all these changes and regulations.

But this revolution is only possible because of new digital technologies. Every piece of owned equipment has the ability to provide us with data. We can treat technology as our ally and use the data for system transparency, optimisation and maintenance. Digitalisation is driving sustainability and can help you accelerate towards your goals.

Transparency

First of all, to transform your operations, you need to know where you stand and where you are heading. For that, you need a Central Data Repository. Without it, your organisation may get lost in new systems, new programs and new projects that are not connected, and you can lose a deep understanding of your resources.

Then on top of the system, you can prove easy access to a simple presentation of infrastructure performance combined with sustainability indicators. This information can be shared with employees and residents to build trust and interest.

To enable it, it is necessary to connect and contextualise data and then use Business Intelligence tools to visualise your sustainability indicators clearly. Relevant data can also be fed to artificial intelligence algorithms to provide advanced analytics.

The goal of the system should be to connect people with trusted information and insights so they can work on solutions should be your main goal. These insights will drive relevant projects for your transformation.

Optimisation

One of the challenges faced by the industry is that utility companies manage scarce and core resources (like water) for society. This task requires now more than ever an enhanced efficiency.

You can improve operational efficiency and decrease carbon emissions with the right digital technology. Instant reaction to network failures, predictive maintenance, and production planning based on data all can heavily influence your sustainability indicators.

In ConnectPoint, we experienced it while working with district heating company Veolia Warsaw on a digital platform with real-time anomaly detection to maximise the efficiency of the second largest distribution network in Europe. We managed to improve reaction time to failures and, as an effect, decrease its carbon emission by 14,5k tons. You can read more about this project in our case study.

Partner in the sustainability journey

ConnectPoint is an IT company supporting digitalisation in the industrial, energy and utility sectors. We combine industry expertise with advanced technological knowledge. Our customers range from major multinationals to local energy, water and heat providers.

We have worked with city utilities for the last ten years. We believe that the first step towards responsible operation is understanding the network and connecting with workers. To achieve that, cities need to start their transformation with a focus on digital skills and proper connected data infrastructure.

You can learn more about our projects with city utilities here.