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

The promise and challenges of smart home energy management

Essie Snell
October 1, 2020

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.

The COVID-19 pandemic could make utility voice apps more valuable than ever

Essie Snell
July 30, 2020

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.

Decarbonization: The defining utility trend of the next decade?

Luke Currin, Essie Snell
March 11, 2020

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.

From Poles and Wires to AI and VR

Essie Snell
November 21, 2019

We used this session to get key insights from major players in the tech space. We learned how Google and Microsoft are thinking about the energy industry and heard about developments that are poised to change the utility sector. After, we asked our speakers a few questions to learn even more.

Charting a course for utility voice assistant development

Essie Snell
October 17, 2019

Smart speakers have become one of the most quickly adopted consumer electronic devices of all time. Come learn about our latest research into the topic and hear about a new study designed to help you take the next steps with virtual assistants.