Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Expansion of smart grid and energy in the IoT discussed at Smart Energy Summit in Austin

Leaders from utilities, energy providers, regulators, and smart home providers and vendors headline eighth-annual event

More than 300 executives from energy, service provider, and other IoT-related industries gathered this week at Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumerto discuss the partnerships and opportunities created with the growth of the smart home and the new role of energy providers. Parks Associates research shows that smart home device ownership has doubled penetration in the past three years, and this trend, alongside the expansion of the smart grid, deployment of smart meters, adoption of distributed generation, and the emergence of the IoT, is driving new roles for energy providers.

The eighth-annual Smart Energy Summit, which takes place February 20-22 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas, focuses on strategies for energy providers and other IoT players in dealing with competition, new revenues, renewables, and opportunities to create and expand customer engagement with energy-related solutions.

“Executives attending Smart Energy Summit are interested in forming real partnerships in the IoT space,” said Stuart Sikes, President, Parks Associates. “More than ever, we see energy providers aggressively seeking partnerships with smart home device and service companies that will bring more value to their customers and that will enable them to launch new, non-regulated ventures outside of their traditional footprints. Energy providers are seeking value-added services that leverage their assets of technicians, installers, support staff, and brand awareness.”

Energy Behavior Segments

“Connectivity is forcing convergence in the smart home, and energy providers must compete for energy monitoring and energy management services,” said Tom Kerber, Director, IoT Strategy, Parks Associates. “Energy providers, like other smart home solution providers, must not only compete for services but must also develop strategies to integrate with other ecosystems in the smart home. Openness will be key to success in the long term.”

Parks Associates research, featured in 360 View: Energy Management, Smart Home, and Utility Programs, shows over 80% of U.S. broadband households have taken some action to save energy, so there is consumer interest in home energy management. Their security and privacy concerns have also increased as their smart home familiarity and adoption have increased. As a result, the majority of Smart Energy Summit attendees agreed, prompted by the opening keynote speaker Sudeep Maitra, Global Director of Strategy and Development, Centrica Connected Home, that utilities need to change their current business model and their relationship with their customers.

This year’s Smart Energy Summit featured keynotes, presentations, and speaker panels from experts in energy management. Keynotes and key speakers included:

  • Kevin Butt, General Manager, Environmental, Toyota Motor North America
  • Abigail Daken, ENERGY STAR Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Irene Dimitry, Vice President, Business Planning and Development, DTE Energy
  • Manoj Kumar, CEO, Powerley
  • Sudeep Maitra, Global Director of Strategy and Development, Centrica Connected Home
  • Ann McCabe, Consultant; Former Commissioner, Illinois Commerce Commission

On February 21, McCabe spoke on the special session “From Pilots to Programs: AMI and the Illinois Experience” and examined the role of regulators in driving innovation in both business strategies and technologies.

Gregg C. Sayre, Commissioner, New York State Public Service Commission; NYRev, spoke on the session “Reinventing the Utility Business Model” earlier in the day. Joining Sayre on the panel were executives from SEPA and Direct Energy. The session analyzed the impact of lower load growth on the utility business, the new opportunities in DG and battery storage, and how new partnerships and smart home services can reshape the traditional utility business model.

“At Smart Energy Summit, we are discussing the ways that energy providers will extend and reinvent their businesses and embrace new technologies to deepen engagement with customers while leveraging consumer data to increase efficiency and offer new services. Despite growing consumer concerns about data privacy, consumers rate energy providers as highly trusted sources for new services,” Sikes said. “At this year’s conference, we invited a number of regulators and government agencies to discuss how utilities and technology innovators can work together to show regulators how new products and services can benefit consumers and energy providers.”

Parks Associates also hosted the pre-conference research workshop, “Utilities and Consumer Engagement Strategies,” on Monday, February 20. The one-day event included detailed findings from the firm’s consumer and industry studies on the smart home, IoT, and energy management markets, with presentations detailing incentives, monetization models, barriers to adoption, and new opportunities for partnerships.

Conference sponsors include People Power Company, Austin Energy, Bidgely, Carrier, ecobee, EnergyHub, Hampton Products International, Honeywell, Jasmine, Powerley, Trusource Labs, UtilityShield, The Weather Company, Whisker Labs, Xively, Z-Wave, Grid4C, ipCapital Group, MivaTek, and State Farm.

Conference supporters include ACEEE, Advanced Energy Economy, AltEnergyMag.com, Antenna, B2 Group, Center for Next Generation Photovoltaics, CIOReview, Conference Guru, Engerati, Green Button Alliance, HomeGrid Forum, Hometoys, Innovation & Tech Today, Internet of Things Consortium, IoT Today, ISE Magazine, Israeli Smart Energy Association, KNXtoday, LonMark International, Mission Data, NEEP, oneM2M, OpenADR Alliance, Open Connectivity Foundation, POWERGRID International, Smart Energy Journal, Smart Grid Spain, Smart Grid Today, TD The Market Publishers, TelcoProfessionals, TREIA, USNAP Alliance, Utility Dive, Utility Post, Wi-Fi Alliance, and WSNBuzz.com.

More information about the Smart Energy Summit is available at www.SES2017.com. For more information about Parks Associates’ research, contact sales@parksassociates.com. To schedule an interview with an analyst or to request specific data, contact Holly Sprague at hsprague@gmail.com, 720-987-6614.

About Smart Energy Summit

Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer examines the changing role of utilities to help empower consumers with solutions to save energy in the home. The event addresses the potential benefits of incorporating smart products into energy efficiency and DR programs and the opportunities across converging ecosystems for the market for energy solutions, including connected devices, energy management, utility services, and home control platforms and services.

The Smart Energy Summit focuses on identifying new strategies that utilities and other providers can leverage connectivity as a result of the adoption of new consumer technologies. Research analysts, thought leaders, and industry executives present and discuss business strategies, case studies, partnership opportunities, and consumer research that utilities, service providers, retailers, and manufacturers can use to expand and monetize their energy offerings.

The ninth-annual Smart Energy Summit will take place February 19-21, 2018, at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown in Austin, Texas. The summit agenda features leaders from utilities, state and national regulators, telecom and security companies, retailers, and OEMs. Follow the event on Twitter at @SmartEnergySmt and #SmartEnergy18. For information on speaking, sponsoring, or attending Smart Energy Summit, visit www.ses2018.com.

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