Digital technologies will take the housing utilities sector to a new level

7 august 2019

"According to the Government's instructions, the Housing Utilities Strategy for the period until 2035 must be developed by the end of the year", - said Victoria Gimadi, Head of the Department for Fuel, Energy and Housing Utilities of the Analytical Center, opening the round table "Basics of Public Utilities Digitalization".

She explained that digitalization must be one of the mechanisms for implementation of the future strategy. For this purpose, in particular, it is planned to create the "smart town" ecosystem and universal digital platforms for management of urban resources.

The introduction of digital technologies aims at solving a number of systemic problems of the industry, noted Marina Fayrushina, Advisor to the Chairman of the Management Board of Inter RAO PJSC. According to her, in the field of housing utilities currently there are no complete, reliable and up-to-date data about the conditions of housing, consumers, scope and quality of the provided services. Moreover, there is no coordination in the development of IT systems at various levels, and information aggregation mechanisms are not established.

According to Fayrushina, the government is interesting in increasing the efficiency of the sector, including by introducing digital technologies. The purpose of digitalization of housing utilities is to increase the efficiency of management of all enterprises and economic indicators, ensure the transparency and payback of services, and to attract investments in housing utilities, said the expert. "Consumers are already on the Internet. Practically 70% of housing utilities payments are made online. We need digitalization to make the processes more convenient, cheaper, and to increase the competitive advantages. But for these purposes we need rules for the new housing utilities market", - explained Fayrushina.

As a part of housing utilities digitalization, it is planned to introduce smart meters, automation of routine processes, and use of the possibilities of artificial intellect and big data to analyze the situation and make appropriate management decisions.

According to plans, the housing utilities digital platform will operate in the basis of the National Data Management System. The national system will not store the primary data, but will allow to optmize them and significantly reduce their quantity, explained the Expert of the Analytical Center Ivan Fost.

"According to Rosstat's estimates, in Russia now about 900,000 report forms are collected. About 70% indicators duplicate each other. Reports can be reduced threefold just by optimizing data collection. We are working on this. But since there are many forms, and each of them is required by the relevant statutory documents, first we will conduct and experiment, which we will then scale", - added Fost.

The round table participants noted that digitalization must be convenient for all users and should not lead to an increase in regulatory documents in the industry. Moreover, experts believe that it is necessary to ensure the digital security of utilities infrastructure.