Making the right decisions starts with a commitment to success, and Siemens is committed to our customers. With local support that creates jobs and economic opportunities, Siemens’ commitment to communities is long term. For example, we are involved in workforce development, economic development, and STEM education programs to help prepare the next generation of workers.
As a building technologies and energy service company, we are also committed to investing in the software and operating systems that create ongoing opportunities for the communities we serve. This is particularly true for energy resilience, a key issue today. We offer new levels of long-term energy security and reliability to ensure community’s energy supply is protected against natural or man-made disasters.
We also offer access to some of the best energy managers in the world. As a leader in the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance, Siemens can bring in global experts on energy and sustainability to address unique problems.
Local government leaders continue to feel the pressure to do more for their communities with fewer and fewer resources. Paired with sound management and leadership principles, technology has the potential to create efficiencies, drive economic growth, and build the social capital required for communities to thrive.
Communities featured in this publication range from 25,000–260,00 in population size and work with annual operating budgets of roughly $100–$600 million. While the way in which smart community projects are managed within the organizational structure of these communities differs, they are all working to deploy new technology in intelligent ways to support organizational objectives.
As this paper will demonstrate, being technology savvy does not necessarily require major financial investments, or complete workforce reorganization. Successful communities featured in this paper have taken strategic approaches that demonstrate that being “smart” is more than just having the latest technological innovation. Instead, they have taken measured steps to demonstrate how investments, along with public/private partnerships, can support their vision for the future.
Watch the free webinar and hear from several local government experts discussing the report.
- Communities have leveraged technology to increase operational efficiencies
- To developing partnerships and funding arrangements to share the risks and rewards of technology investments
- Using the Internet of Things will improve service delivery
- To promote your community as a testing ground for new ideas
- Lena Geraghty, director of innovation and performance management, City of Portland, Maine
- Chelo Picardal, chief technology officer, City of Bellevue, Washington
- Jessica Johnston, program director, ICMA
- Peter Torrellas, national business manager for state and local government, Siemens
Western Tidewater Regional Jail – Suffolk, VA
Western Tidewater Regional Jail brings greater value to taxpayers through a Siemens-guaranteed Performance Contract
With one of the highest water rates in Virginia, Western Tidewater Regional Jail was in search of new ways to curb water usage and energy. Several times a week, inmates would create havoc by doing things such as stuffing uniforms or trash into the toilets, pushing the shower activation button until it jammed, or trying to take the shower fixture apart to access a long metal bar that was behind the wall for use as a weapon. These scenarios not only affected the facility’s utility costs, but also posed serious safety and security problems.
Siemens provided the expertise to help identify and implement economical energy-saving and sustainable facility improvement measures through a performance contract. Renovations at the jail were completed and, during construction alone, a savings of $51,000 was realized, and an estimated $384,995 in savings was expected in year one. In just a few short months, the jail’s water utility bill shrunk from $75,000 to $30,000 a month.
Cities and counties are deploying smart cities applications to support energy, water, and wastewater operations. According to a 2016 survey conducted by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in partnership with the Smart Cities Council, 38.7 percent of communities have smart cities applications in active deployment in the energy sector, while 37.5 percent have smart cities applications in active deployment in the water and wastewater sectors. Additionally, nearly a third of communities—29.7 percent— cited the water and wastewater sector as their top smart cities priority.
While the energy and water sectors may garner less attention than other areas of the smart cities conversation, such as autonomous and connected vehicles, they provide great opportunities for the deployment of smart cities applications. This report looks at smart cities technologies that communities are deploying across the energy and water sectors and examines challenges - some unique to these sectors and some that apply more broadly across smart cities applications. This report draws on interviews with cities and counties that are deploying these technologies, and four case studies - Boulder, Colorado; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Sacramento, California; and Arlington, Texas - illustrate specific examples of smart cities applications in the energy and water sectors.
By 2050, it is projected that there will be 3.1 billion additional people living in cities as the trend toward globalization and urbanization continues, with approximately 80% of the world’s GDP coming from urban centers. People are moving back to urban areas to have access to industry, as well as the services and conveniences a city offers. This growing urban population makes planning for current and future needs more difficult and puts increased pressure on infrastructure and budgets. As a city’s population grows, security becomes an even larger issue. Increased criminal activities create additional stress for the cities law enforcement and the judicial system, since the city now requires additional police patrolling. In addition, there seems to be a new competitiveness for cities to attract and retain residents and corporations to take advantage of the benefits of a broader tax base.
At a recent United States Conference of Mayors Meeting, the mayors explored strategies and best practices to prepare for the growing wave of retirees who desire the convenience of an urban environment. Their vision for the safe, integrated city of tomorrow is focused on securing people, property, and processes. As a result, city mayors, Chiefs of Police, and IT managers are under increasing pressure to ensure public safety. Leveraging the best of technology, integrating systems, and sharing information helps create overall situational awareness. As leaders, they are challenged to leverage the most from their capital investments by implementing the optimal security and fire safety technologies but, more fundamentally, find a way to finance this necessary technology.
Although the U.S. economy is improving from its recent recession, many of today’s organizations still face limited capital availability, budgets that have been cut time and time again, and continued lack of resources to simply get the job done – all of which has led to a tremendous backlog of deferred maintenance.
In addition, the existing building maintenance workforce is aging and retiring, leading to a new, more technology-driven workforce. As the building automation industry continues on its path toward digitalization, building owners must be prepared for this shift.
In both public and private sectors, Energy Service Companies offer innovative financing option through guaranteed performance-based solutions. These energy-savings performance contracts allow funding for infrastructure improvement programs with the savings that will be generated by the project.
Siemens helps cities of all sizes evolve and succeed. In the last five years alone, we’ve worked with more than 200 local US governments to modernize their infrastructure, generating almost $1 billion in energy and operational savings.
Learn more about Siemens Solutions for Communities of all sizes