The energy sector is experiencing rapid change due to advances in new energy technologies such as demand response and open data. According to Energy Industry Consultant and Director of Chapel Group, Wayne Pales, to be a successful ‘digital utility’ utilities need to leverage digitised data or risk being left behind.

Mr Pales said to be a successful digital utility, there are five categories to consider:

Choice

Providing services that inform and empower people to reduce consumption, and save money.

Lifestyle

Helping people minimise the time they have to spend thinking about the energy they need to consume so they can get on with their lives.

Insights

Leveraging digital data and applying advanced analytics and artificial intelligence to make more timely and informed decisions.

Operations

Optimising every activity across the value chain to reduce costs and improve the safety and reliability of supply.

Partners 

Opening access to energy data and partnering with others in the community to promote innovation and move towards a smart and sustainable city.

What utilities should be doing

At Digital Utilities 2018, running 19-20 April in Melbourne, Mr Pales will be exploring how the consumer adoption of behind the meter technologies is transforming the relationship the utility has with its customer as well as how a utility must embrace demand response and open data.

Mr Pales said energy utilities should create an internal ‘start-up’ team, who can work to stay ahead of new technologies and challenge every aspect of their organisation’s existing ways of working.

“By doing this, utilities can leverage digital data to continue to drive down their cost to serve and drive up the safety and reliability of supply. But this is not enough,” Mr Pales said.

“Utilities must turn their attention to the demand side, and what is happening behind the meter.  Utilities must look at ways they can help their customers embrace rooftop solar, local battery storage, electric vehicles, the connected home, and even peer to peer energy trading.”

Mr Pales said utilities in the energy sector need to embrace changes in digital technologies now.

“The industry will see a convergence in consumer adoption of behind the meter technologies, changes to market rules, and the maturing of advanced analytics and artificial intelligence.  These three areas combined will make demand response a critical component of Australia’s future energy mix.

“The utility of the future, regardless of regulatory structure, will be one part of an ecosystem where data and power are flowing in every direction. Success will be measured by customer loyalty, and by partnerships.”

Are you ready to be a successful digital utility?

Hear more about how the consumer adoption of behind the meter technologies is transforming the relationship the utility has with its customer, plus how a utility must embrace demand response and open data in Wayne Pales’ presentation at Digital Utilities 2018.

For more information visit the Digital Utilities event website.

Elisa is an experienced industry journalist and is a regular contributor to a range of energy and infrastructure titles. She has a unique knack for quickly finding the angle in any story her audience is most interested in learning more about.

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