Insights from Innowatts’ Co-Founder and Chief Analytics Officer, Akhlak Ahmed

Houston, Texas | February 22 2024

In a world where AI is transforming industries, the utility sector in particular stands to gain significantly. We sat down with Akhlak Ahmed, co-founder and Chief Analytics Officer at Innowatts, to discuss the pivotal role AI plays within the Innowatts Platform, and how AI will drive the utility industry forward.

Here’s what he had to share.

IW: Thanks Akhlak for taking time today to discuss how AI can empower Utilities. Could you start by telling us about the role of AI in Innowatts and its importance to Innowatt
s’ vision?

AA: “Thank you for the opportunity!

At Innowatts, AI isn’t just part of what we do; as alongside security it’s really the bedrock of our entire platform. AI enables us to crunch vast amounts of data quickly and accurately from over 53 million meters worldwide to give our customers not just data, but the unique insights and precision forecasts that they can act on to drive their business forward.

Innowatts wants to drive transformation within the utility sector. This doesn’t just mean making the end usage of energy smarter. We want to enable the efficient delivery of energy across the grid while also making it sustainable. With AI, we’re predicting energy needs, streamlining how the grid operates, and providing the right insights down to individual meters. In essence it’s about giving our customers the tools they need to smoothly navigate the Energy Transition.

Ultimately, our commitment to innovation and our focus on meeting our customers’ needs are core to the business value that  Innowatts delivers. AI is the key enabler for us to extract and deliver the maximum value from Energy Data.”

IW: How is AI changing energy demand forecasting and customer insights within the utility industry? 

AA: “The energy landscape is becoming ever more complex. Consider the growth of Behind The Meter (BTM) assets. Assets like rooftop solar panels, electric vehicles, and home batteries, then couple that with the growth we are seeing in large-scale solar and wind farms, all of which are making the delivery of accurate demand forecasts more challenging. Without a clear view of these BTM devices at a customer’s premises, utilities could face more frequent asset failures themselves, impacting on their reliability goals and metrics. 

That’s exactly where AI steps in. It enables us to sift through mountains of data from these assets, understand patterns, and even predict how energy demand is going to change. We’re able to produce key insights, deliver them alongside related data and help utilities make smarter decisions about where and when to send energy and how to keep the grid stable. In summary AI isn’t just changing the game; it’s literally reshaping how we think about and manage energy distribution and customer engagement in the utility industry.” 

IW: In terms of grid stability, power trading and asset management, what advancements has AI enabled for utilities? 

AA: “Innowatts AI solutions are focused on demand forecasting, renewable generation forecasting, grid operation optimizations and energy insights.

Our AI-driven approach to predictive maintenance and asset health monitoring can significantly enhance grid reliability and efficiency and by focusing on precise demand and renewable generation forecasting we offer utilities the key insights they need to make better infrastructure investment decisions. This includes identifying premises level BTM assets and integrating diverse data sources like market data, historical pricing, demand patterns, and other relevant factors. 

Overall, our solutions enable smarter investment strategies, achieving measurable improvements in operational performance and cost savings in real-world deployments.”


IW: Looking ahead, what are some of the trends that you believe will further transform the utility sector? 

AA: “It’s an exciting time for sure and I see three major trends shaping the utility sector. Firstly, the integration of AI with grid edge management technology will enable smarter, more responsive grids. This is key, as secondly, I see the rise of decentralized energy resources driving a shift towards more locally produced sustainable energy solutions. Then combining these trends will drive a requirement for a deeper focus on customer-centric solutions which will leverage AI to offer users personalized energy management plans and engagement. 

These three trends, while challenging will not only lead to the realization of operational efficiencies but they will transform how energy is produced, managed, and consumed, setting us up for a more sustainable, efficient, and customer-focused future.”

IW: For utility companies still hesitant about integrating AI into their operations, what advice would you offer?

AA: “For utilities still thinking through how they should go about embracing AI, my advice is to start small but think big. Begin with pilot projects that can demonstrate AI’s value in improving efficiencies, reducing costs, or enhancing customer satisfaction. Look to the market and seek out the solutions and expertise that you can partner with to make a real difference for your business.

An important point to consider is that AI integration into your business doesn’t mean that you are starting with a blank sheet of paper and you will need to throw out all existing workflows, it’s more a case of adding the AI capabilities and enhancing workflows as required. An open approach to innovation and a willingness to learn and adapt from pilot projects to guide larger investment decisions is vital. 

With the challenges and pace of change that the energy industry is facing embracing AI will allow utilities to transform challenges into opportunities and in turn those opportunities into strategic advantages across sustainability, operational excellence, and customer engagement. AI will be the key driver in this transformation.” 

IW: Finally Akhlak, how does Innowatts envision the future of AI in utilities, and what role does Innowatts plan for shaping that future? 

AA: “Building on my last answer, Innowatts envisions a future where AI is truly at the heart of every utility, driving efficiency, sustainability, and customer-centricity. We see AI transforming the utility industry by enabling smarter grids, predictive analytics for demand and supply, and personalized customer services. 

Our own commitment is for Innowatts to be at the forefront of this transformation by continuously driving our level of innovation and working in partnership with our customers to leverage AI to deliver unparalleled value. We want to empower utilities with the tools they need, not only to meet today’s needs, but to anticipate and prepare for the future beyond the energy transition.” 

IW: Thanks Akhlak for sharing your insights and vision with us today.

AA: “It was my pleasure and it’s been great discussing the transformative role of AI in utilities with you. If there’s one thing I hope readers take away, it’s that the future of utilities is bright, and AI is the key to unlocking that potential.” 



AI is not just a buzzword but a transformative force within the utility industry. At Innowatts, we’re excited to be at the forefront of this revolution, harnessing AI to empower utilities with smarter, more efficient, and customer-focused insights and solutions. 

To learn more about how Innowatts’ AI-driven solutions can benefit your utility operations, visit or contact us directly and let’s talk about how to innovate together for a smarter energy future.

About Innowatts
Innowatts is the leading energy SaaS platform that utilizes best-in-class artificial intelligence to help electricity providers unlock grid edge opportunities, increase customer value, and accelerate the energy transition by leveraging insights from more than 52 million meters globally. Outcomes enable users to analyze multiple data sets, gaining a better understanding of their carbon footprint and intensity for each site. The Innowatts platform delivers real-time, customer-centric energy analytics with unprecedented accuracy. With clients and operations across the Americas, Europe, and Asia, Innowatts is a global leader, enabling energy providers to become truly customer-focused and fully leverage the power of data to transform their businesses.

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