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.
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.
Utilities and their residential customers are exploring the potential benefits of energy disaggregation—from improved customer education to cheaper measurement and verification. Unfortunately, the available tools on the market are highly variable when it comes to their accuracy in identifying end uses within the home. With that in mind, I’ve summarized a variety of potential benefits of disaggregation and compiled some general suggestions on the minimum level of accuracy required to realize them.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.