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The Impact Of Smart Tech On Energy Consumption

|Includes: Apple Inc. (AAPL), AMZN, GOOG, GOOGL
Summary

Smart tech has helped businesses to design disruptive products that can automate processes thereby improving efficiency in energy consumption.

Smart plugs or systems and thermostats are already key components in many businesses.

Blockchain technology has also opened up the marketplace for small energy producers to offer their services to the market.

This has increased competition in the energy supply market thereby providing businesses with more alternatives at competitive prices.

Technology has been a major disruptor of various industries over time and during the last decade, we have witnessed some of the major developments that are likely to define the future of mankind. All major tech companies including Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL), and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) are involved alongside a flurry of dynamic startups that seek to disrupt specific segments of the technology industry.

Businesses have been forced to adapt to the rapidly changing marketplace in a bid to remain competitive while others have seized the opportunity to expand their addressable markets. For instance, the big data and business analytics marketplace have helped businesses to make use of key data and statistics retrieved from various online marketplaces to design products that are in sync with changing consumer behavior and emerging shopping trends.

Businesses have also been forced to adapt their in-house operations to emerging technologies in a bid to improving operational efficiencies. For instance, demand response technologies have played a key role in helping businesses to optimize their energy consumption needs.

One of the most pressing issues among businesses has always been energy consumption costs. While it is easy to track domestic energy consumption, this proves difficult at commercial level thereby making it almost impossible for businesses to verify energy consumption costs when the monthly bill comes out.

According to popular U.K.-based electricity prices, consumption tracking, and analytics platform Quote My Energy, which allows businesses and individuals to compare energy suppliers, business energy prices can vary greatly as well as being very confusing due to lack of transparency.

As such, one of the best developments in the technology sector that can come in handy for businesses is the use of smart plugs or lighting systems and thermostats. A smart lighting system and plugs help businesses to track the output and control the flow of energy to devices deployed.

On the other hand, a smart thermostat helps in monitoring the temperature of an office thereby allowing employees to activate heating or Air Conditioning (NYSE:AC) without leaving their seats or even when outside the office.

These technologies can help businesses improve their energy consumption efficiencies by allowing them to switch lights and heavy machinery and equipment on only when needed.

Another major development in the energy consumption market that has emerged over the last few years is the use of blockchain-powered platforms to share excess energy produced. Some businesses have started their own energy production units to power their operations. Most of these businesses utilize green energy sources like solar and in some cases, they produce more than they need.

Initially, it was challenging to sell the excess green energy produced via RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates) due to the strict process of certification and regular audits that producers are subjected to. However, with blockchain technology, experts are already foreseeing a bright future because of the emergence of some aggressive startups that want to disrupt the energy sector using the distributed ledger technology.

One such player is PowerLedger, an Australian-based platform that has capitalized on the disruptive force of blockchain technology to help “consumers buy and sell renewable energy directly between one another, using a blockchain platform.” PowerLedger started commercial operations in May after launching in the US at the Northwestern University Evanston campus, Tech Crunch reported.

This development means that businesses now will have an opportunity to cut down on energy consumption by gaining access to several alternative energy suppliers via peer-to-peer blockchain platforms like PowerLedger.

Conclusion

In summary, energy is one of the key costs that businesses must account for in the income statement. And when not managed properly, it can thin out a company’s profit margins thereby limiting its ability to grow net income.

And with competition in the current business environment hitting up, consumer behavior changing rapidly, and rivals quickly adapting to the latest business trends, failing to embrace emerging technologies that can help businesses to cut down their energy consumption costs can be the difference between success and failure.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.