The UtilityXpert Roundup by EnergyX - March 4th

In this week’s UtilityXpert Roundup, utilities are taking a massive step forward. By leveraging data science and analytics, utilities are looking for new ways to engage their customers. In fact, AEP is essentially launching their own accelerator and welcoming forward-thinking ideas, as well as mentoring young companies to shape their technology.

Florida could add 135,000 jobs by embracing five energy policies (ACEEE Blog Via Energy Central)

New ACEEE research shows that Florida could bolster energy efficiency policies to gain 135,000 jobs, making the state’s economy a bit sunnier. In 2017, Florida ranked fourth in the nation for efficiency jobs.

But with so many untapped energy efficiency opportunities, the state could gain thousands of additional jobs. That’s because efficiency creates local jobs both directly by employing workers to perform energy audits, manufacture efficient equipment, and install efficient appliances.

Georgia Power encourages readiness as spring weather season arrives (Electric Energy Online)

Spring storm season is here, and Georgia Power is encouraging its 2.5 million customers to be prepared when severe weather strikes. While March, April and May are typically the most active months for severe thunderstorms with lightning, hail and tornadoes, severe weather can happen at any time. 

It’s nice to see that utilities that are leveraging their audience to become trusted energy and safety advisers to their customers.

Kentucky Power's mobile app makes reporting outages easier (Electric Energy Online)

Utilities are now inventing apps that can be used to keep their customers safe. Customers can now report an outage by scanning the bar code on their meters with their phone's camera feature once the app is downloaded. It is free at both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

About 6 percent of Kentucky Power's 168,000 customers have downloaded the app since it was first introduced in December 2017. The app can be used even by non-customers to report an outage by scanning the bar code on a meter. There is no need to type in a service address, account number or phone number. This feature can be especially useful for first responders, Wiseman said.

It is easy and convenient for customers who like interacting with Kentucky Power whenever and wherever they want.
— Cindy Wiseman, Kentucky Power's managing director of external affairs and customer services

AEP Launches IlluminationLAB; Partners With L Marks To Identify Innovative Technology Ideas (Electric Energy Online)

IlluminationLAB is designed to help AEP find promising new technologies and innovative ideas focused in four areas - customer experience; grid optimization; efficiency, operations and maintenance; and electric mobility/electrification.

As a startup, we would have loved if this type of opportunity existed here!

Customer and Data Analytics Part 2: Mastering Utility Customer Satisfaction 2.0 through AI (Utility Anaytics Institute)

As new market entrants, regulatory requirements, infrastructure investment demands, revenue streams, and customer expectations continue to evolve and challenge utility companies, attracting and keeping customers happy in 2019 and beyond will continue to grow in importance. To this point, Quadient Research reports that customer experience is a leading focus for 89% of today’s companies.

AI is becoming indispensable across industries, and utilities are not immune.
— Vanessa Edmonds, UAI
Bruce Chen