Welcome to the E Source Blog! Our staff will share insights and observations about life at E Source, our events, our research, and other fun stuff.

June 23, 2016 | Luke Currin - Analyst, Marketing Practice | 0 comments

During a time of low load growth, data centers are an anomaly, consuming massive amounts of electricity to process and store the data generated by millions of customers. These large customers spend big bucks on energy, so utilities can and should help them achieve their energy-efficiency and sustainability goals. Check out a new E Source report that details the main attributes and priorities of these power-hungry businesses.

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June 22, 2016 | Sarah Howie - Business Line Lead, Marketing & Communications Practice | 0 comments

As summer ramps up, utilities are rolling out their tips and tricks campaigns. So far, the messages are focused on safety, energy efficiency, and fun, and they’re showing up on digital displays, websites, social media, and streaming video and radio platforms. Customers are getting a full-spectrum digital experience, and I’m excited to see what else these creative utility marketers have in store for us.

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June 9, 2016 | Sarah Howie - Business Line Lead, Marketing & Communications Practice | 0 comments

Father’s Day is right around the corner, and utilities across the US and Canada have tapped into the holiday spirit in all kinds of creative, heartfelt ways. Is your Father's Day strategy ready to go for this year? If not, check out some examples of high-engagement posts that will help spark your creativity!

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June 2, 2016 | Michael Shepard - Chairman | 2 comments
Electric vehicles (EVs) are the greatest strategic opportunity for electric utilities since the lightbulb. They have the potential to increase utility revenues by 25 percent while putting downward pressure on rates, saving drivers $300 billion per year in fuel costs, and substantially reducing carbon emissions. Utilities have a key role to play in raising consumer awareness of EVs and moving the vehicles from niche products into mainstream adoption. Some innovative, low-cost marketing approaches are proving remarkably successful, increasing EV sales in some markets five- to tenfold.

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May 17, 2016 | Luke Currin, Keenan Samuelson | 2 comments

First impressions are critical to the success of personal relationships, including customer relationships. The first impression utility customers get of their energy provider occurs during the start-service interaction, when customers move into a new home. Providing an excellent self-service moving experience can set utilities off on the right foot. E Source’s three-part series on self-service moving interactions gives utilities strategies to make a positive first impression on their new customers.

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May 13, 2016 | Jeffrey Daigle - Senior Analyst, Customer Experience Practice | 0 comments

Utilities aren’t faced with listening to the voices of customers on just traditional social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. They also have to deal with nontraditional contenders such as Snapchat, Google+, Tumblr, YouTube, Ello, and Reddit. Reddit is a unique social media channel where the users are highly engaged, regularly active, and none too shy about giving commentary and critique. It’s an ideal forum for utilities to get honest and informed voice-of-the-customer feedback.

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May 10, 2016 | Beth Fitzjarrald - Analyst, Demand-Side Management Practice | 0 comments

Home energy reports just a month after you move into your new home? Crazy! Counting on more than 10 percent savings from prepayment offerings? No way! Getting big-name retailers to stock more energy-saving products? Impossible! These aren’t so crazy for the handful of utilities featured in the latest E Source roundup of innovative residential demand-side management (DSM) programs. We know the stakes are getting higher as DSM goals increase, and we all like to know about promising and innovative ways to meet those goals. In this blog, we spotlight five program examples that we think could catch on. Convinced your program is innovative? Let us know and maybe we’ll feature it in our next roundup report.

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April 28, 2016 | Meredith Ledbetter - Analyst, Marketing & Communications Practice | 0 comments

Like many other industries, utilities are very familiar with frequent organizational restructuring. Are we missing an obvious org arrangement that works well in other environments? The natural world is providing surprising inspiration to researchers who are trying to make sense of complex organizations. Let’s jump-start our creativity and innovation when looking at how to organize utility marketing departments.

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April 25, 2016 | K Kaufmann - Communications Manager, SEPA; Alanya Schofield - Director of Strategy and New Products, E Source | 0 comments

The utility industry is searching for ways to develop positive, proactive narratives about solar that connect emotionally with customers while explaining the complexities involved in transforming utilities’ 100-year-old business models. Addressing such antisolar assumptions was a focus of discussion at the Utility Solar Conference, where a new working group of utility representatives met to develop transparent and effective communications about solar. The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) and industry consultant E Source are partnering on the initiative, aimed at allowing utilities to share ideas and experiences on shaping new narratives and communications strategies on solar and rate reform issues.

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April 22, 2016 | Bryan Jungers - Senior Analyst, Technology Assessment Practice | 0 comments

If you listen to the chatter, it almost seems inevitable that one day soon, batteries will be used to soak up electricity anywhere and everywhere they can, fixing all of the problems we currently face with our aging electric grid. Wouldn’t that be nice? A more sobering—and probably more realistic—projection is that game-changing battery technology will always be “5 to 10 years from market” as long as the utility-customer relationship remains fundamentally unchanged. The missing key in grid storage advancement isn’t so much the storage technology itself, but the effective enabling of the many stacked functions that are needed to unlock the technical and economic benefits of grid storage.

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