How AI Can Improve the Future of Smart Cities' Utilities

August 4, 2023

Cities are the battlegrounds in the fight against climate change, responsible for 70 percent of global carbon emissions, according to NetZeroCities. And with the urban population expected to double by 2050, we need to act fast. 

This means that most people will call cities their home. Due to this growth, governments will be facing challenges concerning energy, CO2 emissions, transportation, healthcare, and safety for the growing urban population.

This is where smart cities came in. Smart cities are essentially urban areas that use technology to become economically, socially, and environmentally friendly.

But what truly makes a city smart? The answer is simple: modern technologies like AI.

Since the utilities sector handles our energy, telecoms, waste, and water services, it plays a crucial role in creating sustainable cities for the future. This blog posts explores how improvements in the utilities sector could improve the future of smart cities.  

The Power of Dynamic AI Applications

In the effort to build smarter and more sustainable cities, it's crucial to incorporate advanced AI software that provides deep insights for businesses, sectors, and cities through sensor-based technology and data collection methods. The utility sector, responsible for powering these urban hubs, stands to benefit significantly from the application of dynamic AI technologies. From predicting equipment failures to optimising energy distribution, enhancing energy efficiency, and revolutionising customer service, AI has the potential to reshape the way utilities operate within smart cities.

  1. Predictive Maintenance: AI can predict equipment failures and maintenance needs, reducing downtime and lowering maintenance costs.
  2. Grid Optimisation: AI can optimise energy distribution, enhancing grid reliability and reducing energy waste.
  3. Energy Consumption Analysis: AI can analyse customer data to offer personalised energy-saving recommendations, promoting efficiency.
  4. Customer Service Enhancement: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can provide quick and accurate customer support, improving satisfaction and efficiency.

Cities, along with public and private organisations, are embracing technology and digital transformation. Collaborations between these sectors help cities adopt smarter technologies. Using AI that blends knowledge-based reasoning with advanced digital techniques aids decision-making in unexpected situations.

Applying such dynamic AI to reshape utility sectors for smart cities can lead to lasting improvements. This means facilities work better together, reducing waste and emissions.

Smart Cities Empower Utility Customers

The progress of modern cities, including EV infrastructure, electric transport, IoT integration, and citizen engagement, is closely tied to the operational enhancements that utilities are presently investing in.

Due to this, smart utilities direct their efforts and resources to digitalising customer procedures, particularly customer journeys, that impact usage patterns and contribute to the responsible use of resources.

Utility companies are on the road to digitally changing their operations to support modern cities. This involves revamping business cycle processes to support new business models, transforming into customer-centric organisations, and incorporating technologies like AI. Through these changes, they can improve operational efficiency, optimise network resources, and offer new rate programs that encourage energy efficiency and ultimately benefit customers.

Here's an example:

A significant contributor to CO2 emissions in the utilities industry comes from outdated meter reading practices, where house visits often require transportation that causes CO2 emissions. 

On the other hand, the production & instalment of smart meters could also contribute to CO2 emissions.

Utility companies could start asking consumers to do AI-powered self-meter readings, eliminating the need for transportation. 

Additionally, the instalment of smart meters can be delayed by using AI-based meter reading assistants. Such software provides the benefits of a smart meter, allowing consumers to effortlessly take their own meter readings. Check out Blicker!

The Future of Smart Cities' Utilities

Cities play a crucial role in creating sustainability as they represent the largest consumers of resources and the primary emitters of carbon. As the world's population increasingly urbanises, utilities have a significant responsibility in meeting decarbonisation targets. This involves collaborating with urban planners and decision-makers, integrating with various sectors, engaging with city residents, and leveraging technology to its fullest potential.

As we step into 2023 and beyond, the integration of AI is set to gain momentum, driven by data-centric decision-making and predictive analytics. Evolving technology calls for a comprehensive approach, guaranteeing that smart city initiatives serve every citizen and pave the way for an equitable and sustainable future.

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