Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Utilities prioritise RoI from smart grid deployment

Steve Rogerson
February 18, 2015

Showing return on investment (RoI) and value from smart grid investments is the number one priority for municipal and cooperative utilities, according to a survey from North Carolina-based smart grid technology provider Tanatlus.
 
In its annual users conference survey, it asked leaders and representatives from North America’s top public power utilities to address concerns and investment priorities for 2015. The company surveyed more than 50 of its utility customers.
 
These utilities cited showing RoI and value from smart grid investments (37 per cent) as the number one issue they need to focus on in 2015, with addressing the impacts of aging infrastructure (17 per cent) ranking second. These findings indicate a continued strong focus on adopting value-add applications designed to leverage and justify smart grid infrastructure platforms while providing value to customers.
 
For the second year, add-on applications were the top utility investment priority for 2015, which is further evidence to support the trend of demonstrating RoI. Implementing security enhancements doubled as an area of investment for 2015. Load control again led as the most popular application that utilities would implement this year.
 
For the first time, data analytics tied as the number one utility application to implement in 2015. This finding supports indications that utilities are becoming increasingly more IT and information-driven as the quality, quantity and accessibility of real-time energy data become more prevalent through AMI technologies.
 
“The opportunity associated with the evolving focus of municipal and cooperative utilities beyond basic meter reading towards more data and value-driven operations is exciting for Tantalus and the industry,” said Peter Londa, president and CEO of Tantalus. “As a smart grid technology provider exclusively focused on municipal and cooperative utilities, we similarly believe that the value of real-time data lies in the actionable results from the delivery of data. Our distributed computing capability at the edge of the network, which is embedded in our communications modules, empowers our utility partners to integrate value driven applications that strengthen the connected grid and improve operating efficiency and reliability.”