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Itron’s Itai Dadon, Excerpted

Itron’s Itai Dadon, in “Smart is Worth the Effort,” in the February 11 special issue of Public Utilities Fortnightly:

“The benefits of a smart community application come in three phases. First, there is the direct benefit of the actual application. Typically, the city or utility knows in advance what objectives they want to achieve. For example, when a city puts a parking solution in place, it knows that it wants real-time communication with the citizen on where parking spaces are available in order to reduce traffic in the city and improve the citizen’s experience. So, more people park faster, which results in more payments coming in for the city, fewer requirements for parking enforcement, and increased revenue for the city. There are concrete metrics that the city can use in order to verify or validate whether this solution is working or not because it has specific objectives.

However, what we don’t know is, what we don’t know. It’s important to acknowledge that we will discover benefits as well as issues that we cannot necessarily anticipate, and it’s true for every application that we put in place.

Figuring out the extra benefits of an application – that is the second step, or type of benefit, that is important to stress. Using smart metering as an example, we knew that the first benefit would be that utilities don’t need to send technicians to the meter once a month anymore. Today, we know that smart meters help utilities save energy and optimize operations in ways that we didn’t think about before.

Then comes the third step that completes the transformation of smart communities or smart spaces, and that’s when data comes together from multiple applications and unlocks new value for the benefit of the citizen.”

Read the complete article here.