The UtilityXpert Roundup by EnergyX - February 18th

There is zero doubt that customer engagement in the utility industry is changing rapidly. A lot has been said about the technologies that are disrupting this business, but at a high level, what does this mean for the utility? And what impact does it have on their brand as it relates to their customer service? In this week’s UtilityXpert roundup, we learn about some great case studies out of Ohio, Minnesota and more.

The Value of Brand Trust to Utilities (Fresh MR)

What is the value of a brand to a utility? Cogent Energy Reports has released their annual Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement: Residential report, which provides an overview into utilities’ relationships with their residential customers. The report surveys 132 of the largest utilities in the U.S. and helps to quantify and measure customer sentiment. Areas of inquiry include:

  • Trusted Brand Measurement Factors

  • Product Experience Measurement Factors

  • Service Satisfaction Measurement Factors

  • Customer Impressions of Utility

  • Utility-Customer Engagement and Operational Diagnostics

Minnesota's case study: Investing in utility upgrades to boost energy efficiency (Utility Dive)

We’ve always known that Minnesota was big on energy savings. They have one of the older incentive programs in the country , but ironically, not many of the utilities are actually taking advantage of the program’s investments and counting it towards their savings targets. The takeaway is that more and more states could benefit from infrastructure EE savings.

Our experience may be somewhat unique in that we didn’t have to sort of start it ourselves, it was started for us and we were left to try to provide as much clarity for the utilities as possible, and then a large education component to that as well.
— Anthony Fryer, CIP coordinator, State energy office at the Minnesota Department of Commerce

AEP to buy Sempra Renewables for $1B, more than doubling wind assets (Utility Dive)

AEP announced Tuesday that their renewable energy subsidiary agreed to acquire Sempra Renewables for approximately $1.06 billion, including 724 MW of operating wind generation and battery assets. The deal contributes to AEP's goals to reduce carbon emissions 60% below 2000 levels by 2030.

Customer Data Analytics Part 1: Inventing on Behalf of your Customers (Utility Analytics Institute)

Can your utility take a page out of the Apple playbook? Many utilities are creating technological products to help drive their customers towards program participation, but how does one do that effectively? The answer is as simple as what Steve Jobs used to say:

You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to sell it.
— The late, great Steve Jobs

Accelerating Our Customer Transformation (Edison Electric Institute)

Lynn Good, the chairman of EEI, drops some knowledge about how to change the customer experience in the latest issue of Electric Perspectives. Her words seem to allude to the AI revolution that’s overtaken the customer care industry.

Bruce Chen