The UtilityXpert Roundup by EnergyX - May 17th

In this week’s UtilityXpert Round up, we explore some amazing innovations in utility billing, as well as the embracing of big data by utilities. Xcel Energy is doing big things with their bill paying assistant. Elsewhere around the world (literally), we’re figuring out ways to ensure people in Africa are on-grid through…Facebook? We cover that and more in this week’s post.

How can utilities break into the home automation device market? (UAI)

The global Smart Home Energy Management Device Market is budding. According to Market Research Future, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of approximately 18% during the forecast period of 2017-2023. Utilities that want in and are taking advantage of partnership opportunities. We think that the biggest fueler of this growth is the overall growth in smart home device usage; soon everyone will have voice assistants.

Illinois utilities push cloud computing rules to remove tech investment disincentive (Utility Dive)

Investor-owned utilities spent $32 billion on grid modernization in 2016, according to the Edison Foundation Institute for Electric Innovation, and the number of advanced meters installed around the country could reach 90 million by the end of 2020. To manage the resulting sea of data, utilities are turning to outside vendors.

Changes to accounting rules would make public utilities "indifferent" to implementing cloud-based solutions versus building more mainframe solutions.

How Facebook’s Predictive Grid Map Can Identify African Off-Grid Market Opportunities (Greentech Media)

A lot has been made of how Facebook’s technology is intruding on our privacy, but it’s important to understand the incredible applications of data. Reducing the number of people who live off the grid in Africa would be a huge win for this Predictive Grid Map project.

Utility Company Xcel Energy Launches Google Action to Make Bill Paying Easier (

Xcel Energy launched a new Google Action on Tuesday available on Google Assistant-enabled devices, including Home, Nest Hub and the Assistant app available on iOS and Android devices. Xcel customers can now pay their bills hands-free through any linked device by saying “Ok Google, pay my Xcel Energy bill.” They also have the option to check other account-related details like requesting an open balance or invoice due date.

Averting disasters with innovation: Utilities' pressing need for predictive technology (Utility Dive)

We really are living in the age of big data. To put this in perspective, utilities used to read customer meters 12 times per year in person. Now smart meters generate reports every 15 minutes remotely. That's thousands of times more information at a fraction of the cost. In combination with an ever-growing database of environmental data external to the utility, utilities receive more data than they know what to do with.

Bruce Chen