News / AI and smart meters are making your business greener and more competitive

AI and smart meters are making your business greener and more competitive

20th October 2020

As part of the UK’s transition to a more sustainable energy network, smart meters are being rolled out to help customers better understand their energy use. These more advanced meters automatically provide half-hourly consumption data to energy suppliers.

This information can help to build up an accurate energy consumption profile for each customer. These profiles can help customers reduce waste and control their outgoings.

The detailed consumption data that automated meter reading (AMRs) and smart meters provide has a significant number of possible applications. This information has the potential to support businesses beyond their energy use. But without the proper technology to interpret it and put it to work, the data sits dormant.

This is where artificial intelligence comes in. By using AI to interpret AMR and smart meter data, energy suppliers can turn raw data into intelligent conversations about sustainability and competitor analysis. These conversations can provide actionable insights, helping companies improve operational efficiency, and - in some cases - profitability.

Anomaly detection

Energy suppliers can use this granular data to detect anomalies in a customer’s energy consumption. This allows businesses to pinpoint spikes, outages, or unusual activity and identify the cause.

For example, if a business experiences significant changes in their overnight usage, it could mean equipment has been left running or that there is an electrical fault – something that could prove costly or even dangerous. This has the potential to protect businesses from safety risks and offers assurances that equipment is functioning as it should.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking analysis is another benefit of artificial intelligence in interpreting energy consumption data. In benchmarking models, consumption profiles for similar business types are compared, and key trends are highlighted based on their similarities and differences.

By using aggregated and anonymised data sets, benchmarking can provide a coffee shop, for example, with insights on whether other coffee shops in the same city are opening or closing an hour earlier. It can also tell whether competitors are consuming less energy - prompting questions around energy efficiency. Benchmarking can be scaled up to any business size in most sectors, with larger companies benefitting from even greater efficiencies.

Making data work for the customer

Anomaly detection and benchmarking are both compelling examples AI applications to metering data which add value for customers. They show the importance of data models, genuine insight and engagement between customer and supplier.

Having a trusted partner as your energy supplier can help to unlock these benefits. Individual actions in energy efficiency can amount to collective and widespread change. It’s this collective action that will enable the UK to meet its 2050 net zero carbon emission targets and fight against climate change.

And it all starts with the smart meter.

To find out more about smart meters, or to register your interest in having a smart meter installed at your business, visit our smart meter page.

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