Utilities Look to Netflix for Customer Engagement
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Efforts to make customer engagement more effective are expanding. That engagement is a crucial response to the customer demand driving the power sector's accelerated shift toward renewables and distributed generation, leaders in the industry have found. Higher levels of engagement also allow utilities to align their interests with their customers.
PPL Electric Utilities announced recently that its electric service reliability is ranked in the top 10 percent nationally and first in the Mid-Atlantic region, according to figures for 2017 performance from IEEE. The figures are based on measurements by IEEE of the frequency of outages on the systems of 93 utilities.
SECC has announced the publication of the “Consumer Values: Moving the Needle on Engagement” report, an exploration of “selectively engaged” energy consumers and the steps that electricity providers can take to better meet these consumers’ needs and wants. According to previous consumer research from SECC, roughly 40 percent of consumers engage only selectively in energy-efficient behaviors and programs, while 44 percent fall into the always engaged category and a minority of 15 percent is never engaged.
To achieve a smarter energy future, Entergy Louisiana is deploying advanced metering infrastructure. This initiative will help the utility to identify outages more accurately, speed up the outage restoration response, answer billing and service questions more efficiently and provide additional energy-saving tools for customers.
Demand response has made significant strides as a resource in recent years, growing from an emergency-based program utilities hoped to never use, into a more holistic approach to grid management. And as demand response has evolved, so have the resources and terminology. Industry analysts say 2019 is likely to be the year when utilities focus on adding new distributed resources to their demand response programs.
U.S. electric vehicle sales may be finally seeing the hockey stick growth market watchers have been waiting for. The 2018 numbers are in, and total U.S. EV sales came in at 361,307 for the year — up 81 percent over 2017 — according to the tracking website Inside EVs. For Chris Nelder, manager of Rocky Mountain Institute’s mobility practice, the results came as a surprise.
A new model of Colorado's energy mix shows consumers could save $250 million annually over a 10-year span if the state were to replace its coal plants with a mix of wind and solar, backed up by energy storage and natural gas. The analysis adds to a growing body of data showing Colorado consumers would save money by making a rapid shift away from coal and echoes recent findings in other states.
APPA in a partnership with SmartEnergy IP released a new whitepaper that provides a roadmap for cities and utilities considering implementing a smart city program. The paper, called “Creating a Smart City Roadmap for Public Power Utilities,” offers guidelines and recommendations for public power utilities. The report defines a smart city as one that betters the lives of residents and businesses through mindful investments and deployments of advanced technologies.