Utilities Increase Customer Satisfaction by 10 Points
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Tendril recently released the results of the summer rollout of its Orchestrated Energy platform, showing it had reduced utility HVAC load by 85% during demand response events in addition to other savings. The platform calculates a home’s thermal mass, predicts consumer behavior and integrates with connected devices, to create a "unique dispatch schedule for every home, every day." Tendril rolled out the platform in 15 states, including the territories of AEP's Indiana Michigan Power and Xcel Energy.
There are many demographic shifts shaping the U.S. today, but one that seems to have flown under the radar is the rise of renting. According to a recent report, more Americans now rent than any time in the past 50 years. This demographic shift has particular relevance for electric utilities, who are already experiencing transformation from a number of factors and who have traditionally viewed renters as a difficult-to-reach subset of consumers that aren’t necessarily interested in new energy products and services.
Austin Energy will deliver to the grid enough renewable power to meet more than half of the electric needs of Austin Energy customers by 2020. The projection came after the Austin City Council approved a contract that allows the utility to purchase the output of a new, 150-megawatt solar power plant, bringing the city’s solar capacity to nearly 800 MW. Austin Energy said it currently produces enough renewable power to meet 40 percent of its 475,000 customers’ power needs.
A Minnesota electric cooperative is among the latest utilities to offer a commercial green tariff program in response to growing demand from business customers. Great River Energy created its program after a request by a member utility that is also now its first customer. Starting next month, the Dakota Electric Association will offset all of the electricity use at its headquarters with wind energy credits purchased through the Wellspring for Business program.
Electric utilities in the U.S. have increased overall customer satisfaction by 10 points from 2016 levels. This is according to an online survey, "Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction" study, comprising 19,000 consumers with monthly energy bills above $200. The study was conducted by J.D. Power between February and October with customers across 87 utilities, all of whom have more than 40,000 consumers.
People have been trying to define the true New Yorker since New York was called New Amsterdam, it seems. Some say you must be born there; some believe true New Yorkers are made elsewhere and imported. Former New York City mayor Ed Koch famously quipped that you didn’t have to be from NYC to be a New Yorker. Instead, you could claim the title even after a mere six months if after those six months you did everything — walk, talk, think — just a little bit faster.
According to recently-released EIA data, almost half of all U.S. electricity customer accounts now have smart meters. By the end of 2016, U.S. electric utilities had installed about 71 million AMI smart meters, covering 47 percent of the 150 million electricity customers in the U.S. In contrast to two-way AMI, the second-largest category of meters is one-way AMR, a category for which meter installations peaked in 2012 at 48 million units installed.
On June 6, 2017, Santa Barbara, Calif., became the 30th U.S. city committed to getting 100 percent of its power from renewable energy. Just six months later, on Nov. 29, Truckee, Calif., became the 50th city to make the pledge. More 100 percent commitments are in the works. Over 150 Republican and Democratic Mayors have endorsed the objective.