Customers rarely think about their energy use, where it comes from, how much it costs.

A company sends a bill each month and the customer pays it. However, there is a revolution taking place in the energy world; energy is finally becoming digitised. And we, the customer, will have access to our real-time energy data for the first time.

It’s not just energy companies that see many possibilities, especially with the promise of AI and more personal customer engagement. Recent research suggests that customers are very open to new ways of buying their energy, too. Perhaps, a ‘Netflix’ of energy?

Now, through integrated technologies and data from smart meters, we have access to information about our electricity and gas use and costs. But what does that mean? What can real-time energy data can do for your business?

Here are five things to consider:

1- Help your customers to save money, and build brand loyalty

Step one is to help customers understand their energy consumption, and trust that their bills are accurate. Using real-time, smart meter data, presented via an In-Home Display or app, companies can help customers identify what appliances are using energy, and how much it is costing them.

By providing access to this information, energy providers and other companies demonstrate that they are keen to optimise their customers’ bills and help them to save money.

2 – Save customers’ energy

As well as saving money, businesses, charities, local authorities and other organisations can also help their customers save energy. It’s something many want to do, but haven’t had the tools to do so, until now.

Access to the real-time energy data transforms a customer’s relationship with their consumption. It’s a bit like tracking calories and exercise; now we can track, and predict energy use, through anticipated and responsive technologies like IBM Watson.

For businesses, local authorities, and other companies, data can support investment decisions, such as where and what energy sources are required in communities.

3 – Simplify decision making for the customer and make your product hassle-free

Our lives can be complicated. Companies that help their customers to simplify their lives will gain customer trust and loyalty.

For example, it can be complicated for a customer with an electric car, solar panels and energy storage system to make sure they are maximising their energy ‘set-up’. This expectation of complexity can deter customers from making initial purchasing decisions. If you can combine the customer’s energy data, calendar information, weather forecasts and other sources of data, you can make sure their car is always charged when needed, using stored energy made from their solar panels to keep their home energy and car power costs as low as possible.

Our Digital, Personal Energy Assistant called I•VIE, helps businesses do that, allowing customers to manage their energy 24 hours a day. Watch I•VIE in action here

4 – Energy innovation

Through energy industry innovation, there will be an emergence of new electricity tariffs In the U.K. There will give customers the opportunity to use energy at a cheaper time, when there is less demand. They can then sell their excess energy back to the national grid when it is at its peak. Smart meters that can access rich, personal customer information let companies ensure that their customers are getting a good deal. And it encourages customer retention, with minimal input from that customer.

5 – New opportunities in other industries

Access to real time energy data means opportunities for other industries, too. At Chameleon Technology, we think energy information can also benefit home security, insurance and digital heath care.

For example, we are working with Liverpool John Moores University to track Smart Meter energy data help people with Alzheimer’s, by detecting behavioural symptoms. Caregivers are better informed, which could lead to more independence for the person living with Alzheimer’s. I•VIE can be trained and used to detect these anomalies. It can also be used in emergencies to send notifications to the care giver. And it can record a diary of home activity and give insight or recommendations based on that data.