The significant advances in digital technology achieved over the past several decades have fundamentally changed the way most industries do business, from online storefronts to delivery by drone. Utility companies have sometimes been slower than other industries to adopt cutting-edge technology -- however, electric, gas, and water supply companies often have the most to gain from these new methods. Read on to learn more about how embracing technological advances can help you increase your utility company's profit and minimize duplication of efforts.
What types of technology can specifically impact a utility provider?
A utility company has several distinct duties -- to provide utilities to paying customers, to troubleshoot and quickly solve service interruptions, and (for public utilities) to preserve profit and protect the best interests of the shareholders. Technology can assist with each of these aims.
- Apps and interactive media for customers
With the advent of online banking, bill-pay, and other online payment options, allowing your customers to make payments through your company's website is often a no-brainer. However, your website can offer much more than this -- by making available usage data, alerts, and outage maps, you'll be able to ensure your customers have a constant source of up-to-date information on their utility usage and costs.
If energy conservation is important for the protection of your utility infrastructure, you can also offer incentives to customers who take advantage of certain energy-saving technology. Encouraging customers to sign up for electronic billing or a power consumption program that will help reduce power during periods of high demand can save your business a significant amount of money over time.
- Consumption monitoring
With the cost of construction rising, utilities that need to expand their infrastructure in order to keep up with demand may face significant challenges, particularly if an across-the-board rate increase would hurt business. Monitoring energy consumption in various locations and at different delivery points can help your company determine whether switching to a peak pricing model would be more financially beneficial in the long run by providing the capital needed to invest in these upgrades.
In other cases, you may discover that the cost to provide utilities to a certain segment of your geographic area is much higher than average -- if this is the case, constructing an additional generator or service hub in this area could be the most cost-effective solution.
Before implementing these programs or changes, you'll want to enlist the help of a digital consulting firm. These consultants can evaluate your specific needs to design a product that can help you achieve your profit goals without compromising service or convenience. Contact a company like Opportune energy consultants for more information.