Creating a Smart City Roadmap for Public Power Utilities
What are the key questions to consider in the process of implementing a smart cities program?
While each path towards becoming a smart city may be different, the fundamental goal is the same: to leverage the latest business practices and technology for improved operational and energy efficiency with the mission to improve customer service and benefit the community.
This paper provides a roadmap for cities and utility providers considering implementing a smart city program. The paper offers guidelines and recommendations for public power utilities, while recognizing that each utility is as unique as the community it serves. It also lays out key questions to consider in the process of implementing a smart cities program, including which stakeholders to include in the planning, which materials to develop to support the project, and other key operational considerations.
Key takeaways include:
- The definition of “smart cities” is not universally agreed upon. The Association defines a smart city in the whitepaper as a city that betters the lives of residents and businesses through mindful investments and deployments of advanced technologies.
- Public power utilities need to engage in conversations early in the process to make sure there is proper coordination, as well as to ensure their interests are not superseded.
- There are risks associated with utility sectors not engaging with the public and private sector on smart city initiatives.
- In a smart city environment, the public and private sectors must align, and stakeholders, which at times have opposing interests, must communicate and coordinate with each other.
- Public power utility providers must take a proactive role in shaping the smart city vision for their service territories.
This roadmap serves as a first step in educating public power utilities about how they can be leaders in smart city efforts as part of their transformation to utilities of the future.
The paper includes a section that outlines an initial set of questions that can lead to a preliminary smart city blueprint. It looks to break down what public power utilities must do to engage and lead the smart city conversation and includes a proposed “map” to begin laying information down into a shareable internal and external document to help communicate internally and to stakeholders the utility’s smart city plan.