Insights from our Editorial Team
One path to consumer engagement blazed by developers
Energy-related applications for consumers are one of the likeliest ways to engage for changing behavior, at least for Gen Y. And when it comes to apps, crowd sourcing the development and keeping it fun and motivational is key. Five winners of the U.S. Department of Energy's "Apps for Energy" contest have done that.
Help is still needed: where does the federal government fit in?
In light of news announced in yesterday's Boston Business Journal that Bill Gates, chairman and former CEO of Microsoft, is among the investors in Liquid Metal Battery Corp.'s $15 million Series B round, it seemed appropriate to discuss the May 22 Senate committee hearing on the American Energy Innovation Council's (AEIC's) report, "Catalyzing American Ingenuity: The Role of Government in Energy Innovation." You see, Gates is also a member of the informal AEIC group, and not afraid to put his money where his mouth is.
Consumers may be wild card in future business plans
The standout reader commentary of the week argues that consumers and their energy options, some provided by third parties, are a wild card that injects risk for utilities trying to focus on a forward-looking business case.
Survey linked energy behavior with disparate motivations
One year ago today we wrote about a survey that appeared to establish consumer motivations for managing energy. Has anything changed in consumers' priorities as we pull out of a deep recession?
Vendor touts starting early
The promise of analytics practically sells itself. But how to go about initiating it, implementing it and benefitting from it? A webcast offers free advice.
We've documented the formula here
Three steps to grid modernization are proposed, with links to the experts for their advice. As with life itself, the steps are simple, but not easy. Kibitzers are welcome to join in.
Meters benefit reliability, customer programs to come
Lisa Wood, executive director of the Institute for Electric Efficiency, has expressed impatience with pilots in the past, but today says that "change is happening." The Green Button is a step in the right direction, Wood told us.
CIO speaks out on change management
Not long ago, I asked Reid Nuttall, CIO of OGE Energy and winner of the 2011 Knowledge KITE Award as CIO of the Year, for his thoughts about the biggest issues facing the electric utility industry today. His answer might surprise you.
Spending will continue to rise dramatically
Data analytics applied to customers will go through phases. First, according to utilities themselves, is to improve the meter-to-cash process through revenue protection and other practices. In time, utilities may use data to foster engagement and loyalty. But that takes time, money and trained staff.
Or the speed of change will force their hand
The race for the consumer is on and utilities that dawdle will find that their focus on the "customer" fell short. Determine your future business model today, because that decision informs your technology roadmap and your consumer engagement practices, one industry expert advises.