The traditional utility business model is poised for change, catalyzed by consumer appetites for clean energy coupled with federal and state government mandates and incentives to advance decarbonization. Renewable energy technology is enabling consumers to produce their own energy, while the rise of solar+battery storage has the potential to re-cast utilities in the role of back-up energy supplier. At the same time, the increasing popularity of electric vehicles is re-shaping peak load demands on the grid. And while these forces are changing the economics of energy supply and demand, utilities are still responsible for covering the fixed costs of operating the grid, including the replacement of aging infrastructure.

Given the potential these changes create for disintermediation, utilities are wise to turn to data-driven strategies to inform and adapt their business models to capitalize on current decarbonization and electrification market dynamics and position themselves to succeed in a new energy reality. Data enables utilities to understand customers at one-to-one level as well as analytically understand and plan for electrification’s grid impacts. By leveraging AI, utilities are able to simultaneously reduce negative environmental impacts, improve grid management, save residential and commercial customers money over the long run and regain lost revenue.

Bidgely’s AI-powered appliance-level insights and detailed customer energy profiles help utilities move customers toward decarbonization and electrification through personalized communications that have demonstrated greater engagement, program success and customer satisfaction. With UtilityAI, Bidgely can help utilities identify appliance loads that can be electrified, customers who have a higher propensity or probability to buy EVs or install solar panels, opportunities within existing usage patterns to shift to off-peak usage, and the next best interaction for every individual customer to make efforts to educate and motivate them to seek electric or renewable alternatives more successful. Its patented technology earned Bidgely recognition as a key industry player for AI solutions for EV management by Guidehouse Insights

Beyond greater customer engagement, data-driven strategies also empower utilities to understand the infrastructure impacts of electrification, renewable energy and vehicle-to-grid integration to inform grid planning and load forecasting.

Taking a closer look at how utilities can leverage AI to benefit from EV trends reveals the potential of this approach.

As utilities prepare for surging grid demands from EVs, the Bidgely UtilityAI™ EV Solution uses AI techniques to determine individual household energy patterns and customer preferences to future-proof utility operations. 

By creating a foundation of customer engagement, mindshare and loyalty, AI-powered customer insights position utilities in a new role of trusted electric vehicle partner — facilitating EV purchasing decisions and teaching customers how to get the most value from their EV. UtilityAI uses machine learning applied to historic customer interactions with the utility, demonstrated preferences and other lifestyle characteristics to identify the customers who fit the likely EV-buyer profile. Utilities are able to deliver the right message for each individual customer according to the channel and timing most likely to yield meaningful engagement.

With our UtilityAI Smart Shop next generation marketplace solution, for example, utilities are able to target customers with incentives and partner promotions to encourage EV adoption — meeting customer needs while in the process earning a return back to utility that reduces the overall ratepayer burden. 

The AI advantage doesn’t end by carving out a role for utilities in EV purchasing. Utilities also need to know which of their customers already own an EV, who is charging at home, and at what hour and whether they are using an L1 or L2 charger. Bidgely’s UtilityAI EV Solution with Analytics Workbench pinpoints all of these data points with precision, enabling utilities to study those customers’ behavior and hyper-target offerings to influence behavior.

For example, the UtilityAI EV Solution can help utilities design programs to change peak charging behaviors by identifying customers who are charging an EV during peak hours, and  creating rate, rebate and incentive programs hyper-personalized to motivate those customers to shift at least 90% of their car charging to off peak hours. The platform also reveals which customers have met the shifting requirements to authorize the release incentives. 

UtilityAI EV Solution also allows utilities to manage grid impact. Applying artificial intelligence and machine learning to customer data helps utilities track how quickly EV ownership is growing, identify the grid impacts of EV charging loads at various levels of aggregation (city, substation, feeder) and pinpoint substations/feeders that are at risk of reaching capacity with granular detail that reveals during what hours the consumption from EVs is highest compared with other substations. Substation/feeder-level insights serve as a crucial data input when planning to make changes to at-risk assets, such as proactively repairing or replacing transformers revealed to be susceptible to overloads.

In keeping with the EV use case described above, UtilityAI’s data-driven applications for household electrification and PV adoption yield the same far-reaching customer engagement and grid benefits as the EV Solution and solve the most common challenges related to electrification and decarbonization success. UtilityAI accelerates a clean energy future by enabling energy companies and consumers to make data-driven energy-related decisions, and ensures that utilities are able to secure a future-ready position in this new energy paradigm.

To learn more visit bidgely.com or watch the Electrification and Decarbonization solution overview at go.bidgely.com/ev-pv-der-electrification-decarbonization

Categories: Bidgely

Abhay Gupta

I founded Bidgely to change the way we use energy, everyday. It's the little things we do, working with our utilities, that add up to massive savings, efficiency, and just maybe, a better world.

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