by Jay Malin, Managing Director

I had the opportunity to attend the recent DistribuTECH conference in San Antonio and was excited by the level of innovation in distributed energy resources (DER), electric vehicle (EV) charging, and platforms designed to assist utilities and consumers in optimizing energy usage.

Models today not only incorporate cost but seek to maximize the role of renewables in the energy mix.  As I spoke with numerous vendors, each offering engaging customer experiences, it also became clear that each was creating yet another brand silo within the utility.  This is where I see AGENT511 Customer Preference Center consolidating legacy and next-generation programs to create a one-stop valued-added customer experience. 

I met vendors such as Chargeway, Sunverge, Evolve, and OATI who, along with our partner Omega Grid, are delivering solutions that offer customers granular control of their energy use while rewarding conscientious and profitable energy behaviors.  Examples use cases include:

– Create an optimal mix of energy sources and best usage times;

– Deliver rewards for EV charging or energy use at off-peak times; and

– Find available EV charging at the best price and time.

In some cases, the programs are automated, but more often than not, they require engaged customers who respond to instant calls to action.  Next-generation utility isn’t about robots and less interaction – it’s about smart and profitable engagement that delivers flexibility and control.