How Customer Engagement Can Happen in Minutes
Top consumer smart grid news hand-selected and brought to you by the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “Most utility customers spend just 8 minutes per year thinking about their electricity bill.” That 8-minute stat comes from Accenture, and it actually refers to online interactions between customers and their utilities. Accenture's study is a much broader and more comprehensive report on customer engagement with utilities, but skeptical conference panelists often pick out this one stat.
A recently released joint report by NYSSGC and SGCC found that 80 percent of New York State residents believe the state should invest in the expansion of clean energy, and two-thirds of downstate residents say the state should provide incentives for electric vehicles. The New York Consumer Pulse Study found that half of all New Yorkers are interested in learning more about the state’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative and 56 percent support REV’s overall goals.
AEP Ohio has made its home energy management solution available to its residential customers. AEP Ohio used Powerley’s end-to-end hardware and software platform to provide a real-time energy management experience. Branded as It’s Your Power, the mobile application is available for AEP Ohio’s 1.5 million residential customers via Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Xcel Energy has proposed a pilot program giving low-income customers more access to renewable energy. In this program, Xcel Energy will partner with Energy CENTS Coalition to help residents in St. Paul’s Railroad Island community subscribe to a local community solar garden. Xcel Energy will also seek approval to expand the program’s offerings to help residents in this community save energy and lower their energy bills.
Innovative ratemaking is the talk of the town. Trials of time-of-use rates, demand charges and time varying pricing are playing a growing role in the transformation of the electric power sector. California will deploy default time-of-use rates in 2019 at an unprecedented scale. Landmark regulatory debates across the country have been resolved in recent months by stakeholder agreements to explore new ways to use rates to control spiking peaks. And research is beginning to point toward what works and what doesn’t.
Hawaiian Electric Companies, tasked with powering multiple island grids with 100-percent green energy by 2045, has finally secured regulator approval for a plan to get there -- as long as it includes customers and third parties in the mix. The Hawaii PUC approved the utility’s Power Supply Improvement Plan, a sprawling document that contains the recipe for hitting the state’s 100-percent renewables mandate by 2040, five years ahead of schedule.
Through a competitive bidding process, Tesla was recently selected to provide a 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack energy storage system to be paired with a wind farm near Jamestown, South Australia. Tesla was awarded the entire energy storage system component of the project. Tesla noted that in September 2016, a 50-year storm damaged critical infrastructure in the state of South Australia, causing a state-wide blackout and leaving 1.7 million residents without electricity.
J.D. Power's annual study on residential utility customer satisfaction found an increase in power outages and pricing information increased residential power customer satisfaction for the sixth consecutive year. The study notes more than 65 percent of residential utility customers surveyed are receiving critical information during a power outage, including the cause, number of those impacted and time estimates on when power will be restored.