Utilities – Adapt Or Die

Smart grid will enable utilities to become smarter and improve their business.
Published: Mon 01 Dec 2014

Utilities need to adapt to the changing circumstances or they will start losing customers and shrinking ever smaller – and that’s in nobody’s interests, neither the utilities, their employees nor customers, Kim Norgaard, Global Head of Solutions at Elster Electricity, told Engerati in an interview at European Utility Week 2014.

Value from data

Utilities need to move to a “smarter world”, says Norgaard – and that’s not simply installing smart technology, although that is important. “The investment may be in the smart meters, but the value lies in the data and how that is used.”

Norgaard cites two examples of benefits from smart technology – one is to reduce the costs of network maintenance to improve the ROI, and the second is from the US to detect abnormal power usage due to (legalised) marijuana growing to pinpoint a need for grid strengthening.

Smart grid in Europe

Norgaard expresses concern about the delay in the deployment of smart meters and smart grid in Europe, which is holding back utilities from moving to this smarter world.

“We do see some movement in the right direction and it’s good to see, but it’s not as much as the industry claims or we would like to see,” he says.