The E Design 2020 conference—a first-of-its-kind event focused on creating utility products, services, and experiences for the customer of today and tomorrow—was facilitated by design experts from outside the utility space as well as forward-thinking utility leaders. Our objective was nothing short of creating a path to the utility customer portfolio of the future. This two-day, immersive gathering highlighted innovative approaches and design-thinking experiences from a variety of industries to show you how these strategies can be applied at your utility.

Via the links below, you can download presentations from the conference. Please note that not all speakers gave us permission to share their presentation.

The Innovation Imperative

Utilities know their world is changing. But what should they do about it? How can they become truly customer-centric? Innovation is difficult in all industries, not just the utility sector. In this session, we looked at how we can adopt innovations from other industries such as hospitality, telecom, and transportation. We explored how to shift the focus from the utility’s needs to the customers’ needs and how utilities can regain the reputation of innovation they once had in the heady days of Reddy Kilowatt.
Bill LeBlanc, Chief Instigation Agent, E Source

Download Bill LeBlanc’s The Innovation Imperative: Designing for the New Energy Consumer (PDF)

Keynote: How Design Thinking Can Create the Customer Portfolio of the Future

Design thinking—pioneered more than two decades ago at Stanford University and IDEO—has been used worldwide to create superior and innovative solutions to emerging and age-old problems alike. Design thinking was originally applied to technology (e.g., the computer mouse) before it was adopted by the service industry. Now it’s being applied in social and behavioral settings. We explored how design thinking can:

  • Help utilities become truly customer-centric
  • Facilitate the development of the customer portfolio of the future
  • Solve nagging problems in customer experience that have led to brand erosion
  • Uncover new products and services that could boost utility revenues

Sven Newman, Partner, Daylight

Download Sven Newman’s Design Thinking (PDF)

Design Research: Can We Learn Like a Four-Year-Old?

Utility people tend to think like engineers or rational economists because that’s the way we were trained, but to really understand our customers, we need to see them through the eyes of a four-year-old child, full of wonder and hope. And, like a four-year old, we need to ask why, over and over, to really get at the core of why humans act the way they do. In this session, we learned about ethnographic and human-factor research methods, which can uncover surprising insights, as well as heard real-world case studies.
Katja Battarbee, Principal XD Researcher, Intuit

Download Katja Battarbee’s Design Empathy (PDF)

Tech Spotlight

You’ll need innovative partners to help you create the next generation of products and services. Who has what it takes to meet the needs of the new energy consumer? In this fast-paced session using a modified PechaKucha style, we gave a select group of tech companies five minutes each to describe their product and why they would be a great partner for utilities.

Download Tech Spotlight: Accelerated Innovations (PDF)

Download Tech Spotlight: Ecova (PDF)

Download Tech Spotlight: EVmatch (PDF)

Download Tech Spotlight: Fiveworx (PDF)

Download Tech Spotlight: Nest (PDF)

Download Tech Spotlight: Smappee (PDF)