IoT and the housing and utility sector: how is the technology used in Russia?

IoT and the housing and utility sector: how is the technology used in Russia?

As provided by analytics company GlobalData, the global volume of the IoT market would reach $318 bn by 2023 with the most popular devices and systems designed for the utility sector and industry. What possibilities and solutions does the IoT provide for common facilities?

IoT in the housing and utility sector: main directions

IoT-based solutions for the housing and utility sector imply sensors and meters setting on infrastructure facilities as well as provision of the systems of rubbish removal organization and optimization, effective management of lifting mechanisms, janitorial services, and many other directions.

Use of IoT-based solutions for the housing and utility sector:

  • water, gas, heat, etc supply;
  • energy audit and optimization;
  • rubbish removal and recycling;
  • management of lifting mechanisms;
  • janitorial services.

IoT-based solutions in the housing and utility sector are implemented via smart high-sensitive sensors on various objects such as separate apartments, entire buildings, rubbish trucks, energy systems. These sensors and meters can be both wired and wireless using corresponding networks. LPWAN is the most convenient and widespread type. Sensors transfer data through the network to special servers for further processing and analyzing by the system.

IoT systems for public energy supply

Automated wireless systems are the most widespread and popular in the housing and utility sector. They allow corresponding utilities and private companies that provide public services to collect and process data on energy consumption. Besides, such services help monitor the health of the objects and their details (gas and water supply pipes, central heaters). It prevents accidents, leakage, and excess consumption. What makes this system convenient is limitless scalability, which helps embrace several houses and the whole city.

Smart systems use in Russia

Implementation of smart networks in 2014 was one of the most successful projects. Initiated by Yantarenergo (Kaliningrad), it prompted the setting of an electric network distributed automation system in several city districts. It could detect failures on a remote and automated basis and isolate them before the maintenance team comes.

It helped prevent current cutting off in the whole district and quickly find a problem area. Due to the IoT-fueled solution, the time spent on accident spotting and damage control because it used to take six hours with five site visits. The project that proved one hour and one visit of the maintenance team is enough to fix a problem.

IoT helps optimize energy consumption

As anticipated by the experts at ABI Research, the urban population will increase in the future, which would lead to the demand for smart sensors to calculate and optimize energy, gas, and water expenses. According to the analysts, they would become twice popular by 2022 compared with the current situation.

Smart sensors can remotely control water, electricity, gas, heat, etc consumption to present bills for the citizens. They allow not only timely and highly precise bills but also monitoring of problems related to fraud, tampering with meters, cutting-in.

Calculating systems are examples of such solutions. For example, Dell EMC, Vodafone, and Utilitywise are working on a joint project that is an IoT platform counting energy consumption of separate buildings and entire complexes. This would reduce expenses on water, light, gas, heat, and venting. Pioneer testing took place in the UK showing that the solution is 20% more cost-effective.

To carry out large-scale calculations, the Russians use Government Information System on Housing and Public Utilities (GIS HPU) introduced across the country since 2016. It allows citizens to monitor data on energy consumption in a real-time mode. Since January 1, 2018, all companies focused on data collection have to report to this complex system.

Rubbish removal and recycling

As analyzed by the World Bank, the value of the year’s municipal wastes would reach 2.2 bn t by 2025, and their disposal would cost $375 bn. Smart systems and sensors can help cut these expenses as well as optimize the process of rubbish removal and recycling.

IoT Conference: IoT and the housing and utility sector: how is the technology used in Russia?  1

To achieve this aim, dustbins are equipped with special sensors that inform corresponding services about their fullness. This helps plan rubbish removal and effectively build routes for garbage trucks. Sensors are frequently solar-powered and highly cost-efficient. They transfer data via wireless connection straight to the server that processes it and provides people with a big picture of the certain geolocation. In this way, it’s possible to organize on-demand rubbish removal thus saving gas and time. Such smart systems are able of self-training, route planning, traffic prediction, etc.

In Russia, there is a system called Wasteout. It was presented at the demo zone of the Internet of Things forum in 2018. It manages the shipping of hard wastes by special sensors. They provide data via a smart platform that can reduce logistics expenditures by half and make the process of rubbish removal faster and timely.

Other smart solutions for the housing and utility sector in Russia

IoT-fueled technologies are most popular in the utility segment of the US and Europe (electricity sensors Demand Response, DR). Nonetheless, due to some domestic companies, smart sensors and integrated systems are introduced more and more frequently across Russia.

Smart sensors and STRIZH systems

STRIZH is a Russian and CIS leading manufacturer of wireless IoT solutions based on LPWAN sensors. It has entered the market since 2014. The company creates special telemetric systems for the housing and utility segment and smart cities. Development and introduction of complex solutions for public service is the firm’s key direction.

One of STRIZH’s large-scale projects was the deployment of a smart system with 1500 smart sensors in eight cities of Perm Krai. What is more, there were implemented tasks on system debugging and adjustment as well as setting of the software needed to collect and process data at defined intervals. The system helped a local network company reduce electricity expenditures from 55 to 20% as well as lessen expenses on emergency site visits.

Smart meters from MegaFon

MegaFon is another developer of smart solutions for the housing and utility sector. In 2017, it launched a complex project in Innopolis. The smart system allows to remotely accumulate data on energy consumption and is based on NB-IoT standard. This technology is spread in LTE networks and will become available after the shift to 5G that is expected to be launched in Russia in 2020.

The MegaFon’s solution enables citizens and suppliers to control resources consumption, transfer data to the housing and utility services, pay off the bills, avoid payroll irregularities, and reduce overpayment.


As reported by Gartner, as of 2017, the global IoT network embraced 8.4 bn devices, and their quantity would reach 20.4 bn by 2020. Housing and utility sector plays an important role in its development. The IoT fully meets the demand in this segment.

Investments in IoT technologies aimed at utility services show a big return since they can reduce expenses on maintenance, prevent wrong bills, quickly detect fraud or electricity theft. Consumers get advantages because they have an opportunity to control expenses, get power consumption data, lower energy excess, and timely pay off the bills.

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