Most of you might have faced this situation at least once in your life when you see a much higher figure on the utility bill than what you have expected.
It can be a mistake that can happen for so many reasons. In some cases, this mistake can easily be rectified while in others there may not be a proper rectification route for it.
Before jumping to solutions for these issues, let’s first understand how a bill is generated for the utility services. The current electricity bill generation process is as follows:
A representative from the electricity board takes the reading of the electric meter installed in your home. On the basis of electricity units consumed by you, a bill is generated that you receive either through postal mail or on your email id.
Then you pay the bill either at a payment kiosk or on the online portal. But the current bill generation process has many issues because of which mistakes happen in these utility bills. Some of them are as follows: Manual intervention required from reading the units of electricity consumed to data entry in a spreadsheet can lead to possible errors in the bill.
One of the other critical challenge that the utility industry faces are utility fraud where customers tamper with a reading of the electricity meters in order to reduce their electricity bills. Blockchain and IoT have the potential to automate this utility process: In this new system, you will be first required to install the smart IoT meter.
Once installed, the electricity consumption data will be fed digitally into the blockchain. Additionally, the smart contracts will have predefined rules to calculate the electricity bill from the electricity units consumed by a standard formula.
After that, the smart contract will get executed and the payment will be done. Because IOT smart meter does not require human intervention, therefore, there will be fewer errors and you will get an accurate bill for the electricity consumed and utility fraud will also decrease.
There are a few more advantages of installing IOT smart meters and blockchain technology:
Real-time data on electricity consumption can be tracked by both the electricity boards and consumers.
The utility industry can also use this real-time data for generating better insights on the electricity consumption trends over time.
IoT meters installed have many more uses than just detecting the amount of electricity consumed.
These meters can also detect system irregularities like meter defects, outages, attempted tampering, etc. In such scenarios, an alert will be sent to you to fix the identified problem so as to optimize the energy consumption.
Errors in water bill payment can also be minimized by using blockchain and IoT sensors.
IoT smart water meters will measure the consumption of water and will record this data on the blockchain. The water bill will then be calculated after looking at this data of water consumption and smart contracts will be executed that will automatically pay the bill. These smart water meters can even detect any water leakage or any tampering attempted. Upon detection of any such event, all of this information will be recorded on the blockchain.
Thus we can say that the implementation of these sensors can help us to efficiently manage our water resources and use them optimally.