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Digitalisation

Utilities are one of the last remaining industries that have not foregone the disruption driven by Internet business models.

The US could save up to $1 trillion in energy savings by 2020 (35% in terms of residential). Allowing consumers to monitor and manage their energy usage, alongside smart algorithms, allows for considerable efficiency and cost savings. Smart meters, mobile apps and internet-of-things are increasingly part of this mix. Consumers can either manually respond to energy reduction signals for peak load or networked devices are intelligent to turn themselves off. On a grid-scale, understanding consumer usage and behaviour also allows for more efficient resource deployment.

In the developing world, 1.2 billion people living without access to the power grid spend about $27 billion annually on lighting and mobile-phone charging with kerosene, candles, battery troches or other fossil-fuel powered stopgap technologies. Renewable sources are cost effective enough to replace fossil fuels, but heavy upfront investment costs limit the adoption of off grid electricity. Digital payment systems enables micropayments for utilities like energy and water with efficient return-on-investment revenue sharing with local partners. Instead of giving out installations for free, the local government can cover up the investment cost with pay-as-you-go usage models.

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