Watch Bidgely CEO Abhay Gupta’s presentation from the JD Power Utility Conference to learn more about how Bidgely is able to help utilities partner with customers on our collective clean energy journey.
Each year JD Power’s Utility Client Conference brings together leading electric, natural gas and water utilities to showcase model programs that are yielding big gains in customer experience, market share and profitability.
Bidgely is proud to have participated in this year’s event, featuring thought leadership from Ameren, Xcel Energy, Idaho Power, Georgia Power, Southern California Edison, Southwestern Electric Power, Southern Gas Company, Arizona Public Service and our own Abhay Gupta.
Though we always look forward to the Utility Client Conference dialogue, this year was particularly exciting as much of the conversation centered upon how clean energy commitments are changing the way utilities do business and how they engage their customers.
It is clear that we are at an inflection point as the adoption of new sources of energy and electric vehicles is rising dramatically. Technologies that were once embraced by only early adopters or residents of certain geographies are now mainstream worldwide, revealing to us for the first time what our clean energy future will look like. At the same time, the new presidential administration in the U.S. has announced an ambitious 100 percent clean energy by 2035 target, and has proposed massive funding to help bring it to fruition. Utilities are seizing the opportunity to become future-ready, establishing aggressive goals to realize net zero carbon neutrality and hundred percent clean energy by as early as 2030 or 2035.
In the face of all of this opportunity, utilities agree that customers must remain at the center of their strategy. Only when utilities and customers come together can we accomplish our collective clean energy vision.
Electric Vehicle Adoption is Opening Up New Customer Engagement Opportunities
According to Nadia El Mallakh, AVP of Strategic Partnerships and Ventures at Xcel Energy, Xcel has a bold clean energy vision to have 1.5 million EVs on the road within their service territory by 2030. Their strategy focuses on engaging customers as active participants in helping reach that goal by expanding educational and advisory services, increasing access by lowering upfront costs and reducing customer bills with managed charging.
Southern California Edison’s eMobility Principal Manager, Carter Prescott, says what SCE calls its “Pathway to 2045” includes electrifying 75 percent of all transportation — which equates to 26 million vehicles. To simplify EV adoption and become better customer partners, they’ve gone beyond the traditional up-to-the-meter charging infrastructure and installed past the meter on the customer-side infrastructure, all the way to the charging station stub-out. This approach makes it very easy for customers to install charging equipment, especially with additional help from SCE rebates on both hardware and installation.
Bidgely’s UtilityAI™ EV Solution is helping utilities to strengthen customer engagement at every stage along their EV journey. First, UtilityAI makes it easy to target customers with the highest propensity to buy an EV with personalized insights and advice to help them make informed vehicle purchasing decisions. Once customers own an EV, UtilityAI detects and estimates EV power consumption through smart meter analytics with no additional hardware required. Using UtilityAI’s hyper-personalized recommendation engine, utilities can efficiently communicate with each EV owner on a one-to-one basis, encouraging them to take mutually beneficial actions to consume less energy like upgrading to more efficient EV chargers or signing up for a more desirable EV rate-plan.
Customers Want Cleaner Energy
Idaho Power’s Adam Richins presented compelling customer survey results that found that many customers want cleaner energy. In fact, 89.6 percent of those surveyed supported Idaho Power’s clean energy goal to offer 100 percent clean energy by 2045. Their customer enthusiasm is so high, in fact, that more than 58 percent of survey respondents said they would be willing to pay rates ranging from 5 to 20+ percent higher for cleaner power.
Bidgely has found the same is true for customers around the world. That is why we have unveiled EcoScore — a quantifiable way for customers to track their progress toward net-zero and become active participants in accelerating eco progress. EcoScore is calculated based upon each customer’s electricity, gas, water, and transportation consumption, and re-calculated as often as data becomes available. But more than a score, customers also receive personalized recommendations about tangible steps they can take to improve their score, including load shifting, energy efficiency steps, pursuing beneficial electrification and more.
As Bidgely CTO Vivek Garud said in the Wall Street Journal’s Going Green, One Data Point at a Time article, “Our vision is to get to a place where you have a much smaller ecological footprint for every home, every business on the planet. We want to be one of the tools to take the world to this goal.”
Data is the Key
Embracing this new era of relationship-based customer engagement represents a shift in utility strategy, but it is an evolution made easily attainable with data-driven solutions. Utilities are able to become part of their customers’ clean energy journey by using the power of AI to better understand their customers habits, lifestyles and preferences, and then create personalized messaging in line with those unique characteristics.
For example, we can detect when a customer is charging an electric vehicle and tell them exactly how much they are spending to charge their car. We can help them manage their load by explaining how much more they are spending by charging during peak hours. With that foundation of helpful, relevant education, it then becomes easier to motivate a customer to adjust charging behaviors to off-peak times, and to create more effective incentives for off-peak charging.
Similarly, UtilityAI makes it possible to not only report to solar customers about their generation, but also to let them know how much energy they are consuming as a true measure of net zero progress. We can also alert customers if their overall generation is declining so that they can seek maintenance and regain their max generation. UtilityAI also helps solar customers understand which appliances and energy habits are the most energy intensive, enabling communications and recommendations that give solar customers the power to make adjustments to attain net zero goals.
With clean energy targets looming large, it’s also critical that UtilityAI’s data-driven approach to clean energy customer engagement is rapidly and affordably scalable — which is essential as we look to grow solar, EV and other beneficial electrification adoption from thousands of customers today to millions of customers tomorrow.
To learn more about how Bidgely is able to help utilities partner with customers on our collective clean energy journey, watch Bidgely CEO Abhay Gupta’s presentation from the JD Power Utility Conference.