How Blockchain IoT will transform the utility industry

The increasing demand for the Internet of Things and blockchain technology is experienced throughout our daily lives. According to a Gartner Study, the global IoT market is likely to grow from $157 billion in 2016 to $457 billion by 2020. On the other hand, blockchain is expected to add $3.1 trillion in business value by the year 2030. Blockchain IoT combined can disrupt every industry including Utility.

Let’s consider an example of an electricity bill process. Read further to understand how traditional electricity bill generation process works and how blockchain IoT combined will have a considerable impact on the electricity bill generation.

Current Way of Electricity Bill Generation Process

  1. Every month, a representative from the electricity department visits your home to capture the meter reading.
  2. Once the auditor verifies the data, he enters the reading into the billing console and generates the bill.
  3. Bill is then dispatched to the customer via email or postal mails.
  4. Customer pays the bills either at a payment kiosk or online.

 

The current bill generation process involves human intervention and outdated technologies that might lead to the following errors:

  1. Since the data entry is done manually, the bill might have a possibility of data entry errors.
  2. All the data is stored on the centralized server; it can be lost or manipulated.
  3. The existing process is time-consuming and requires considerable workforce.
  4. Currently, banks or other intermediaries also charge additional fees while a consumer pays the bill online.

Now, let’s understand how Blockchain IoT combined can bring a transformation in the existing process.

Technology Components

  • Smart meter: An IoT enabled meter
  • Smart Contracts: To generate bills and trigger marketplace services
  • IPFS: Store data on Blockchain
  • Cloud services: To transfer the computation complexity
  • Mobile App: Consumer Dashboard

Blockchain IoT based automated electricity bill process

  1. Install the smart IoT meter.
  2. Smart IoT meter sends meter readings periodically to the blockchain.
  3. The meter also triggers the smart contract based on the business rule to generate the accurate and immutable electricity bill.
  4. Additional marketplace services could access the permissible information to provide better services to the consumer.
  5. The customers will get the electricity bills on the mobile apps.
  6. The smart contracts also enable consumers to turn on the auto-payment.

Benefits: 

  • Transparent– Installing the smart IoT enabled meters will remove the scope of manual intervention. The device will automatically send data to the blockchain to be shared with all stakeholders involved in the process. Thus, the process becomes transparent, and consumers can directly deal with the electricity department.
  • Trust – Blockchain uses the node agreement to ensure the transactions are tamper-proof and cannot be altered. Consumers will have better trust that their bill is not manipulated. The trust on the system will also allow customers to enable auto-payments.

By installing connected utility meters and managing the data on the blockchain using smart contracts can bring trust and transparency to the system.

The automated utility bill payment that uses IoT and Blockchain will open enormous opportunities for both consumers and the service providers. For example, users will be able to trust the system and pay bills in advance with discounts. The service providers can give rewards to the customers who would have saved more electricity in a month. In this article, we have only explained one area where Blockchain IoT will impact broadly, but there can be many more industries like healthcare, public safety, smart homes, and supply chain management where Blockchain IoT can be implemented.

To get an in-depth knowledge of how Blockchain and IoT work together, reach out to our team of experts.

Author’s Bio

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Akash Takyar

CEO LeewayHertz

Akash has built over 100+ digital platforms used by millions of consumers. Akash is a core member and ambassador of Hedera Hashgraph and Hyperledger. Akash has invented a reverse geocoding algorithm used by Uber and Twitter. Akash is a technical architect and has been a consultant to McKinsey, 3M, Simens and Hershey’s. Akash holds a masters degree in computer applications.

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