How utilities are using AI to adapt to electricity demands

The spread of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has prompted state and local governments around the U.S. to institute shelter-in-place orders and business closures. As millions suddenly find themselves confined to their homes, the shift has strained not only internet service providersstreaming platforms, and online retailers, but the utilities supplying power to the nation’s electrical grid, as well.

U.S. electricity use on March 27, 2020 was 3% lower than it was on March 27, 2019, a loss of about three years of sales growth. Peter Fox-Penner, director of the Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy, asserted in a recent op-ed that utility revenues will suffer because providers are halting shutoffs and deferring rate increases. Moreover, according to research firm Wood Mackenzie, the rise in household electricity demand won’t offset reduced business electricity demand, mainly because residential demand makes up just 40% of the total demand across North America.

Some utilities are employing AI and machine learning to address the windfalls and fluctuations in energy usage resulting from COVID-19. Precise load forecasting could ensure that operations aren’t interrupted in the coming months, thereby preventing blackouts and brownouts. And they might also bolster the efficiency of utilities’ internal processes, leading to reduced prices and improved service long after the pandemic ends.


Innowatts, a startup developing an automated toolkit for energy monitoring and management, counts several major U.S. utility companies among its customers, including Portland General Electric, Gexa Energy, Avangrid, Arizona Public Service Electric, WGL, and Mega Energy. Its eUtility platform ingests data from over 34 million smart energy meters across 21 million customers in more than 13 regional energy markets, while its machine learning algorithms analyze the data to forecast short- and long-term loads, variances, weather sensitivity, and more.

Beyond these table-stakes predictions, Innowatts helps evaluate the effects of different rate configurations by mapping utilities’ rate structures against disaggregated cost models. It also produces cost curves for each customer that reveal the margin impacts on the wider business, and it validates the yield of products and cost of customer acquisition with models that learn the relationships between marketing efforts and customer behaviors (like real-time load).

Innowwatts told VentureBeat that it observed “dramatic” shifts in energy usage between the first and fourth weeks of March. In the Northeast, “non-essential” retailers like salons, clothing shops, and dry cleaners were using only 35% as much energy toward the end of the month (after shelter-in-place orders were enacted) versus the beginning of the month, while restaurants (excepting pizza chains) were using only 28%. In Texas, conversely, storage facilities were using 142% as much energy in the fourth week compared with the first.

Innowatts says that throughout these usage surges and declines, its clients took advantage of AI-based load forecasting to learn from short-term shocks and make timely adjustments. Within three days of shelter-in-place orders, the company said, its forecasting models were able to learn new consumption patterns and produce accurate forecasts, accounting for real-time changes.

Innowatts CEO Sid Sachdeva believes that if utility companies had not leveraged machine learning models, demand forecasts in mid-March would have seen variances of 10-20%, significantly impacting operations.

“During these turbulent times, AI-based load forecasting gives energy providers the ability to … develop informed, data-driven strategies for future success,” Sachdeva told VentureBeat. “With utilities and energy retailers seeing a once-in-a-lifetime 30%-plus drop in commercial energy consumption, accurate forecasting has never been more important. Without AI tools, utilities would see their forecasts swing wildly, leading to inaccuracies of 20% or more, placing an enormous strain on their operations and ultimately driving up costs for businesses and consumers.”


Autogrid works with over 50 customers in 10 countries — including Energy Australia, Florida Power & Light, and Southern California Edison — to deliver AI-informed power usage insights. Its platform makes 10 million predictions every 10 minutes and optimizes over 50 megawatts of power, which is enough to supply the average suburb.

Flex, the company’s flagship product, predicts and controls tens of thousands of energy resources from millions of customers by ingesting, storing, and managing petabytes of data from trillions of endpoints. Using a combination of data science, machine learning, and network optimization algorithms, Flex models both physics and customer behavior, automatically anticipating and adjusting for supply and demand patterns.

Autogrid also offers a fully managed solution for integrating and utilizing end-customer installations of batteries and microgrids. Like Flex, it automatically aggregates, forecasts, and optimizes capacity from assets at sub-stations and transformers, reacting to distribution management needs while providing capacity to avoid capital investments in system upgrades.

Autogrid CEO Dr. Amit Narayan told VentureBeat that the COVID-19 crisis has heavily shifted daily power distribution in California, where it’s having a “significant” downward impact on hourly prices in the energy market. He says that Autogrid has also heard from customers about transformer failures in some regions due to overloaded circuits, which he expects will become a problem in heavily residential and saturated load areas during the summer months (when air conditioning usage goes up).

“In California, [as you’ll recall], more than a million residents faced wildfire prevention-related outages in PG&E territory in 2019,” Narayan said, referring to the controversial planned outages orchestrated by Pacific Gas & Electric last summer. “The demand continues to be high in 2020 in spite of the COVID-19 crisis, as residents prepare to brace for a similar situation this summer. If a 2019 repeat happens again, it will be even more devastating, given the health crisis and difficulty in buying groceries.”

AI making a difference

AI and machine learning isn’t a silver bullet for the power grid — even with predictive tools at their disposal, utilities are beholden to a tumultuous demand curve. But providers say they see evidence the tools are already helping to prevent the worst of the pandemic’s effects — chiefly by enabling them to better adjust to shifted daily and weekly power load profiles.

“The societal impact [of the pandemic] will continue to be felt — people may continue working remotely instead of going into the office, they may alter their commute times to avoid rush hour crowds, or may look to alternative modes of transportation,” Schneider Electric chief innovation officer Emmanuel Lagarrigue told VentureBeat. “All of this will impact the daily load curve, and that is where AI and automation can help us with maintenance, performance, and diagnostics within our homes, buildings, and in the grid.”


Original post:

38 comentários em “How utilities are using AI to adapt to electricity demands

  1. Remarkable things here. I’m very happy to
    peer your post. Thanks so much and I am having a look forward
    to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  2. certainly like your web-site but you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of
    your posts. Several of them are rife with
    spelling problems and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the reality however I’ll certainly
    come back again.

  3. Heya this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if
    blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted
    to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly

  4. Awesome blog you have here but I was curious if you
    knew of any forums that cover the same topics talked about in this article?

    I’d really like to be a part of community where I can get feed-back from other knowledgeable people
    that share the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

    Many thanks!

  5. I’m the manager of JustCBD Store brand ( and I’m presently trying to broaden my wholesale side of business. I really hope that anybody at targetdomain is able to provide some guidance 🙂 I considered that the most suitable way to do this would be to connect to vape shops and cbd retail stores. I was really hoping if anyone could recommend a reliable web-site where I can purchase Vape Shop Business Contact Details I am currently reviewing, and Unsure which one would be the best selection and would appreciate any support on this. Or would it be simpler for me to scrape my own leads? Suggestions?

  6. I’m the business owner of JustCBD company ( and I’m presently planning to grow my wholesale side of company. I really hope that someone at targetdomain give me some advice 🙂 I thought that the best way to do this would be to reach out to vape shops and cbd stores. I was really hoping if anybody at all could suggest a qualified site where I can purchase CBD Shops B2B Database I am already looking at, and Unsure which one would be the most ideal choice and would appreciate any advice on this. Or would it be easier for me to scrape my own leads? Ideas?

  7. Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I’m going to come back once again since I book-marked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.

  8. I blog often and I genuinely appreciate your content. This great article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information about once per week. I opted in for your RSS feed as well.

  9. After looking into a number of the blog posts on your site, I honestly like your way of blogging. I book marked it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my web site too and let me know what you think.

  10. I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website. I’m hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts by you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own blog now 😉

  11. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know why I can’t join it. Is there anybody getting identical RSS problems? Anybody who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

  12. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has been conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast due to the fact that I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to discuss this subject here on your internet site.

  13. An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who has been doing a little research on this. And he actually ordered me lunch due to the fact that I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending time to discuss this subject here on your web page.

  14. Achieving your fitness goal doesn’t need a certified personal trainer or an expensive gym memberships, it is not hard to exercise at home. It is easy to go down a training and fitness rabbit hole, however, when you are looking for the best home exercise equipment to outfit your personal home gym.

  15. Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe that this site needs much more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the information!

  16. I’m very happy to find this website. I need to to thank you for your time just for this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new information on your website.

  17. When I initially commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service? Thank you!

  18. When I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on whenever a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks a lot!

  19. Howdy! This blog post couldn’t be written much better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I’ll send this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

  20. This is the right web site for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually will need to…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic that has been written about for ages. Excellent stuff, just excellent!

  21. You are so interesting! I do not think I have read through a single thing like that before. So wonderful to discover another person with some genuine thoughts on this subject matter. Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that is needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *