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Google and Uplight to keynote Parks Associates’ 15th annual Smart Energy Summit at DISTRIBUTECH

Consumer engagement is a major priority for utilities to retain and increase demand response participants

Parks Associates announced energy and utility research ahead of its 15th annual Smart Energy Summit at DISTRIBUTECH, finding 13% of US internet households are currently enrolled in a demand response (DR) program. Ten percent participated in a DR program in the past but are no longer enrolled. Among these households, 28% say they discontinued participating in a DR program because it was no longer available, while 23% felt the incentive was too low.

The 2024 Smart Energy Summit is co-located with DISTRIBUTECH, the largest utility and energy-focused conference in the world, on February 27-28 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida. Smart Energy Summit sponsors are SkyBell, SmartThings, Arcadia, Resideo, and Universal Electronics.

“DR programs proliferate, but their names, benefits, and branding often change, which causes confusion among consumers,” said Jennifer Kent, VP, Research, Parks Associates. “With more than one in four former DR participants saying they no longer have a program available to them as they shift between energy providers or move to new markets, it is a major lost opportunity for energy providers. Energy providers need new ways to educate consumers and engage consumers in DR programs.”

Parks Associates research finds 43% of US internet households currently participate in at least one energy program. Additional energy research from the firm:

  • 24% own a generator for backup power
  • 7% own solar panels
  • 5% own an EV
  • 16% own a smart thermostat

Smart Energy Summit will feature keynotes from Tyson Brown, Manager Strategic Partnerships, Google, and Donald McPhail, VP Product, Uplight. Confirmed session speakers include the following: 

  • Dr. Gabriela Bunea, Chief Solar Innovation Officer, GAF Energy
  • Martin DeBono, President, GAF Energy
  • Geoff Martin, President & Co-founder, vipHomeLink
  • Mike Mulqueen, Director, Commercial Partnerships, SWTCH Energy
  • Bruce Nordman, Research Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab
  • Chris Thorson, Chief Marketing Officer, FLO
  • Paul Wezner, Chief Product and Customer Officer, Powerley
  • Paul Williams, Managing Director of Home Management Business Unit, Nice

Parks Associates is currently accepting speaker submissions for Smart Energy Summit at For more information or to speak with an analyst, contact Mindi Sue Sternblitz-Rubenstein at

About Smart Energy Summit

Parks Associates’ 15th annual Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer is co-located with DISTRIBUTECH 2024 on February 27-28 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.  Smart Energy Summit addresses energy and renewables technology trends in the residential and small-to-medium business markets.

Industry players join expert panels and networking sessions to address the expansion and monetization of energy management and other energy-focused offerings through consumer engagement, new business models, unique partnerships, and innovative technologies.

The conference also features 2024 virtual sessions January 23, July 23, and October 10. Follow the event on Twitter/X at @SmartEnergySmt and #SmartEnergy24. For information on speaking, sponsoring, or attending Smart Energy Summit, visit