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Big Data Will Bring Benefits to Utilities, Consumers

07/14/15

bigdata

The world is getting more connected, and machines are collecting massive amounts of data about consumer habits. In the energy sector, the rise of big data is poised to revolutionize the way utility companies provide electricity to homeowners. That's good news for you – the more information you have at hand, the more opportunities you’ll have to save money. Read on to find out how big data may affect you in the near future.

Machines Learning the Patterns

Analyzing the patterns inside the enormous amounts of information provided by big data is known as machine learning. By letting computers do the heavy lifting, analysts can discover trends and efficiencies that no one would ever think to look for. Ultimately, what we learn from data analysis will trickle down and impact your interactions with any appliance or device that is electrical. Work conducted by machines will show humans the best way to move forward.

IntelligentUtility.com recently listed seven ways that machine learning can affect the relationship between you and your utility provider:

  • Finding Patterns: Using machine learning, utilities can analyze the patterns of individual homeowners and target them with programs that can help them conserve. Digging deep in the data unveils a few “energy personalities” that most people conform to. Once the utility has profiled the customer, they know what outreach strategy will have the greatest chance of success.
  • Signing Consumers into Programs: Many utilities offer programs that can be beneficial to the customer, like time-of-day pricing and appliance rebate programs. Companies can use that data to make more accurate predictions about who is most likely to sign up for each program.
  • Uncovering Efficiencies: Machine learning can play a crucial role in practices like disaggregation, which allows you to break down electricity consumption by appliance and identify where you can make the biggest impact with upgrades or replacements.
  • Providing Accurate Heating Advice: The utility company can't provide good tips for saving on heating costs if they don't know what fuel the customer is using. Machine learning lets the company know what type of equipment you have so they can better help you save.
  • Optimizing the Thermostat: By looking at how people heat and cool their homes, and comparing that with weather data, machine learning can come up with personalized suggested thermostat settings. These recommendations can include information about how much money you can save at particular temperatures.
  • Getting Electric Cars Online: Electric cars are a relatively new addition to the grid, but as their use becomes more widespread in coming years, machines will look at the data to provide advice on when and how to charge cars most efficiently.
  • Keeping Customers Happy: If the utility company can provide accurate and useful advice that helps customers save money, it's a win-win situation – the utility keeps a customer, and the consumer has more disposable income. Machine learning can improve the outlook for homeowners and utility companies alike.

In the meantime, if you need tips about how to save energy or need electrical work performed on your home, call a qualified electrician today.



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