Utility industry globally at a technology tipping point, Itron finds


Based on a survey of more than 600 utility executives and 800 consumers across 14 countries Itron says the utility industry is at a critical tipping point towards transformation.

In the survey a massive 94 percent of utility executives believed the industry needs to be transformed to improve efficiency, while 80 percent of consumers were dissatisfied with the current amount of information they are receiving from their utility.

Further, 94% of the utility executives agreed that government policy and uncertainty about coming regulations hinders infrastructure investment, and 74% feel big data insights are central to infrastructure modernization efforts.

From the consumer perspective, more than half of the consumers want tips on energy efficiency practices as well as information about energy efficiency programs and services, while almost half also want information on cutting their bill costs.

The survey was also aimed to develop the “Itron Resourcefulness Index” as a benchmark for the state of the utility industry based on 8 issues (i.e. new government regulations on utility services; low rate of investment in infrastructure; availability of resources; minimizing lost revenue due to operational inefficiencies, specifically energy and resource waste; supplying customers with reliable utility services at steady prices; lack of consumer information about energy and water conservation; protecting private data about customers; and current inability to effectively use and manage complex data sets).

From the utility executive perspective, the global utility resourcefulness was 29.6, with China and India having the highest concerns (indexes ≥40), while from the consumer perspective the global index was 35.7 with China and India again and also South Africa and Brazil being the highest concern countries.

“I’m pleased to present the Itron Resourcefulness Index as a new benchmark for the utility industry,” said Philip Mezey, Itron CEO. “Increasing constraints on global resources combined with accelerated technological innovation place the industry at a critical juncture in defining how we will successfully manage finite resources, meet growing demand and engage consumers around the world.”

Among other findings the Resourcefulness Index highlighted some important nuances between gas, water and electric utilities. Among these consumers and industry executives are least concerned about the price and continued supply of natural gas and most concerned about electric utilities’ long-term ability to meet demand, while the major concern regarding water utilities is the impact of outdated infrastructure.

The full survey findings are available HERE