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The Chapel Group

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The Digital Utility framework that puts consumers and communities first

Since 2012 I have been leading smart energy programs and helping develop digital utility roadmaps.  The most important lesson I learned along the way is to focus on services that are in the best interests of the consumers and communities you serve.  This in turn will be in the best interests of your shareholders.  Having the right roadmap is just the beginning.  You must have a compelling narrative.  One that is authentic and can explain why your roadmap helps solves real world problems.  You must engage your stakeholders early and often.  Collaborating with stakeholders on your roadmap is a never ending journey.

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Navigating the 8 utility industry challenges

In a previous post, I talked about the six utility industry truths.  Much like the ‘canary in the coal mine’ concept, awareness of these six industry truths can act as an early warning system and can be used to help us navigate the following eight utility industry challenges. I expand on each of the challenges below in my book, The Digital Utility.

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The 6 immutable industry truths

I believe there are six immutable utility industry truths. How we decide to interpret these is up to us, but we cannot ignore them.

Like the canary in the coal mine, these industry truths should be used as an early warning to help inform the decisions we make when developing our digital roadmaps.

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An approach to Australia enabling third party access to energy data

In this, the final post in the series on designing third party access to energy data, let’s discuss the decisions that need to be made ‘under the hood’.

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Community Based Demand Response

The spike in temperature into the 40’s in Melbourne on the weekend got me thinking of the old lady who was ahead of me in the queue at the post office last week. She was beside herself with worry over a “threatening letter” she had received from her electricity retailer.  She was “scared” as she did not know how she was going to pay her bill.  I wondered what decisions she would have made on the hot night we have just had to keep herself cool and in good health.

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Are Utilities set to go down the same path as hotel chains and taxi companies?

In my previous post, I asked whether we should look to enable marketplaces, which bring together consumers and third-party providers of energy services.  I proposed anyone – government, utility or private enterprise – be allowed to create such marketplaces.

In this earlier post, I first introduced the idea that utilities should lead the charge in creating such a marketplace as they already had systems and processes in place to source, transport, and store the data.  In fact, this is already happening with the likes of PG&E, London Hydro, SDG&E, and others.  I realise for many utility executives this concept appears counter-intuitive.  Why should a utility open access to its data and invite organisations to introduce services that may eat away at its revenue?

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Third party access to energy data. Should we enable marketplaces?

In this, my second part of the series on third party access to energy data, I focus on ‘Services’.  Decisions made regarding Services will drive how the end to end solution is to be designed.  The objective of a Service is to create something a consumer is aware of, something they perceive to be of value, and comes from a source they trust.

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Designing third party access to energy data

For those that follow my posts, you will know I bang on a lot about utilities focusing services on consumer needs and desires. In an earlier post, I referred to this as designing from the outside in.

This principle of designing from the outside in applies to using third-party access to energy data to create a consumer-focused solution.

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Access to energy data – a consumer’s perspective

My recent blogs have focused on why I believe a Utility should lead the way to enable approved third-party access to energy data. Since those posts, several people have asked me what value this would deliver to the consumer.

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