Verizon Delivers Smart Energy As-A-Service

July 29, 2015 by Jeff Shepard

Verizon today announced Grid Wide Utility Solutions, a new Internet of Things (IoT) platform service offering utility companies an easy on ramp to grid modernization. Now available in the U.S., Grid Wide offers electric utility companies an integrated solution for smart metering, demand response, meter data management and distribution monitoring and control.

With 147 million electric meters in the U.S. today, Verizon’s Grid Wide aims to transform the delivery and consumption of energy nationwide for investor-owned, cooperative and municipal utilities and their customers. Designed to maximize the benefits of smart meters, the solution comes equipped with a wide-range of cloud-based applications intended to help utility companies drive incremental revenue, reduce operating costs, increase efficiency and improve customer experience.

“Historically, utility companies have constructed costly communications networks and installed premise-based servers designed to last for at least a decade,” said Jay Olearain, director of business development for energy & utilities, IoT Connected Solutions at Verizon. “The industry has since realized that the coverage, reliability and security of public wireless networks have evolved well beyond anything that they can construct on their own efficiently and with scale.” According to industry estimates, at least 60 percent of utility companies only become aware of outages as a result of customer notifications.

“What is really cool about our smart grid technology — and very disruptive — is that we have pre-built Grid Wide as an as-a-service model, which removes the complexities, time and cost for utilities with having to build their own solution. As a result, utilities don’t have to swap out their entire meter population, they can start to solve the problem areas right now on a per-month, per-meter cost basis,” Olearain added.

By delivering smart energy as-a-service, Grid Wide offers more to utility companies than simply the ability to read their smart meters remotely. It turns the utility-owned meters into a power-quality sensor to help utility companies understand the quality of the electricity they are delivering to their customers.

With Grid Wide, the utility’s smart meter communicates its meter data over Verizon’s wireless network, through Verizon’s private network and then to Verizon’s cloud environment. The solution’s pre-configured data and analytics dashboards provide timely information regarding outages and abnormal usage patterns while also helping utilities drive revenue.

“This is only a starting point,” added Olearain. “Our road map also includes certifying gas and water meter manufacturers in the coming months.”

Verizon has more than a dozen years of experience in developing and deploying IoT connected solutions, and today manages millions of connected devices. Verizon’s revenue from the internet of things and telematics totaled approximately $165 million dollars in the second-quarter in 2015 and $320 million year-to-date.