The results of a survey conducted by DEFG, a management consulting firm specializing in energy, reveals some interesting information about low-income utility customers-- 43 percent (or four in 10) of which have trouble paying their utility bills.
Electric and gas utility customer satisfaction ratings have been rising over the past few years and the just released results of a survey from a division of Market Strategies International found that the trend continues. But further analysis of the numbers showed that even highly rated utilities need to do more to ensure customer trust.
Energy education in Illinois is starting early with the help of a joint program offered by ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. Nearly 5,000 fifth grade students in Chicago are becoming Super Energy Savers through a free science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) based curriculum, intended to teach fifth graders about the importance of energy efficiency, and allow them to share money- and energy-saving tips with their families.
Electric utilities face headaches of one form or another daily, from regulatory issues to keeping the lights on in a storm. But one of the biggest challenges has been meeting rising customer expectations about their service. A UK consumer watchdog group has ranked the country's electric utilities and, judging from the results, some of them still do not understand how to make customers happy let alone keep them happy.
"Much of our current electricity system dates back to the time of Thomas Edison, yet we all want cleaner and smarter energy solutions," Reed said. "What we are doing in Worcester is bringing innovation and new technology solutions to our customers supported by an advanced infrastructure that is more resilient, efficient and productive."
The Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) has a mission that is simple to explain but an ambitious one to carry out. The organization's purpose is to pull together commercial, utility and proponent groups to encourage the adoption of smart grid technologies in ways that ensure benefit to consumers. SGCC has just released its first annual report as a way to look back at its achievements and activities and ahead to what it wants to accomplish this year.
The Pew Charitable Trusts and Cogent Reports have recognized CPS Energy, the largest municipally owned electric and gas utility in the country, for its leadership in renewable energy development and serving as a "customer champion," respectively.
While some utilities have no social media strategy whatsoever, and others are just now putting their big toe in to test the waters, Integrys Energy has been using social media for more than five years, beginning back in 2009. I had the opportunity to catch up with Susan Baranczyk, Integrys Energy Group's Manager of Brand Strategies to discuss how the Midwest energy company and its seven brands implement social media strategies and technologies across multiple business units. Susan was extremely forthcoming and willing to share some of the secrets to the company's success with social media.
The results of a Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) analysis of senior's attitudes toward the smart grid and related topics yielded some interesting findings. While U.S. seniors (55+) see saving money and reliability as worthwhile benefits of the smart grid, they are less likely than younger people to get involved in smart grid technologies and programs.
This week’s smart grid markets roundup features forecasts and reports for grid-scale energy storage, wind turbine manufacturing, smart cities, electricity network investments, home energy management products and other topics.