Essie Snell researches and assesses how emerging energy technologies and trends affect utilities and their strategies. He has published more than 300 papers and articles, speaks at energy industry events, and advises leaders at utilities across the US and Canada. He has led early research on technologies that have become, or are becoming, integral parts of utility demand-side management and decarbonization programs. These technologies include smart thermostats, heat-pump water heaters, smart home systems, grid-enabled water heaters, and voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, among others. To keep utilities from investing in costly and lengthy pilots for technologies that fall short of energy-saving claims, Essie also debunks these so-called "black box" technologies using his background in physics. He previously worked with Point380 where he analyzed the life-cycle carbon footprints of manufacturing processes and helped develop strategies to reduce greenhouse gases for Fortune 500 companies. Essie holds a BS in engineering physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Content by this author
Induction cooking is a proven yet fairly unknown technology that can help utilities meet both efficiency and decarbonization goals. And induction offers customers a slew of benefits, including better cooking performance, increased safety, and easy cleanup.
The results of the 2020 US elections will have lasting effects on energy and climate policy. We held a webinar with a leading energy and climate policy expert to get her thoughts on the energy impacts and opportunities for utilities following the November election. Here’s what we learned.
Smart home devices have the potential to reduce energy consumption, manage demand, support time-of-use rate structures, and share valuable energy data with customers, among other benefits. Check out some of our key findings from recent research on the pros and cons of different devices and systems.
Given the rapid adoption of smart speakers and voice assistants, customers’ willingness to engage with them, and the need for additional customer support during COVID-19, we expect these platforms to be an increasingly important channel for utilities.
Over the past three years, states, provinces, cities, and utilities across the US and Canada have made bold commitments to address carbon emissions. As of March 2020, more than 20 utilities in the US have announced they’ll supply their customers with carbon-free or net-zero-carbon energy by 2050.