Energy utility executives want an integrated system that includes gas, solar and wind renewables, which will drive the transformation and address their changing business model, according to a new report by Itron.
The survey also revealed a growing dissatisfaction with the level of communication and control consumers expect from their utility. At the same time, the majority of utility executives noted that they are excelling in communicating with their customers.
Itron released its third annual Itron Resourcefulness Index report, a global survey and index benchmarking energy and water resources management.
In its largest study to date, Itron surveyed more than 2,000 combined utility executives and informed consumers in key markets around the globe to benchmark energy and water management.
The insights gathered this year point to the growing importance of the utility industry’s role in leading the transformation in managing finite resources. Increasingly, utilities are turning to new technologies to reduce wasted energy and water.
“I’m proud to present the 2016 Itron Resourcefulness Index, which provides important insights into how the industry is reliably, efficiently and sustainably managing energy and water resources. One of the prominent themes from this year’s report focuses on the leading role that utilities have in transforming the way we manage and use these resources around the globe,” said Philip Mezey, Itron president and CEO. “In the age of the Internet of things and smart cities, it is becoming clear that utilities have an opportunity to drive a real shift in how they engage with consumers to enable smarter communities, propel local economic development and better manage energy and water. As utilities deploy new technologies and innovations to help address the changing industry landscape, customers will look to them for guidance.”
This year’s survey generated several interesting insights from utility executives and consumers, including 10 key trends:
1. Utilities are deploying technology that can lead the age of the Internet of things and smart cities
2. Utilities are turning to technology to address the changing business landscape
3. Consumers want utilities to do more to connect the dots for them
4. It’s not about big data; it’s about the right data
5. Cybersecurity continues to be a concern
6. Gas and electricity grids grow together
7. Addressing wasted water is a priority
8. Governments have an increasing role in shaping resourcefulness
9. Next generation workers are needed
10. Everyone needs to take action to create a more resourceful world
Similar to last year, Itron used data from third-party sources to create two indices—the Energy Resourcefulness Index and the Water Resourcefulness Index. The indices help to measure country-level resourcefulness using 35 macro indicators across three core pillars—effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability—and ranking the countries according to their performance for each.
Within the energy index, the report found the top five performing countries to include:
1. United States
Within the water index, the five leading countries included:
1. Australia—which topped the Index for the second consecutive year
5. United States
Full survey findings are available in the 2016 Itron Resourcefulness Index, available for download at http://www.itron.com/index.