Don’t get carried away with the benefits of connected utilities — vulnerabilities can lurk even in water meters or energy grids.
As the Internet of Things begins to permeate city infrastructure, several cities are teaming up with their utility providers to take advantage of smarter, cleaner utility delivery with connected technologies. In fact, the IoT and analytics market for utilities is expected to grow to over $5 billion worldwide in the next 10 years, according to a report by Navigant Research.
But, with the benefits that accompany these evolving tools also come new security concerns that cities must tackle before they can realize full potential of connected tools.
Many cities have already begun to look to energy grid modernization or smart technologies. In Cary, N.C., city officials took advantage of the need to upgrade water meters in conjunction with a smart city initiative to make the jump to connected tech and reap the benefits of its data tracking capabilities. Citizens can now better monitor their water usage, and the city can spot leaks before they turn into a major water bill.
Boston is also on the fast track to smart utilities thanks to the Boston Smart Utilities Project. The program, established in 2016 by the city and the Boston Planning and Development Agency, aims to develop “strategies for more equitable, sustainable, affordable, resilient, and innovative utility services in the City of Boston,” in part by incorporating innovative technologies into the underlying utility infrastructure.
Meanwhile, some localities are moving toward even larger goals. While many states are implementing technologies to modernize their energy grids, both the city of Portland, Ore., and the state of Hawaiihave set goals to operate on all renewable energy by 2050.
View all SMART GRID Bulletins click here