EnergySMART

EnergySMART is a community of people who are passionate about energy and who are actively striving to make more intelligent energy management decisions.

$8 Billion: The Value of Customer Trust

Posted by Sarah Barwin on Jan 30, 2015 7:00:00 AM


How much would improving your customers' trust in you lift your bottom line?

Cogent Report's 2014 Utility Trusted Brand & Customer Engagement Study set out to answer that, surveying 19,000 residential utility customers serviced by 125 of the largest natural gas and electric utilities in the US. The study estimated that customer trust in utilities influences $8 billion in revenue annually.

Interestingly, the study found that one of the most reliable predictors of trust was customer engagement. If building trust with your customers is high on your priority list, here are a few tips to help you get there through better customer engagement.


How Do Capacity Auction Outcomes Affect Your Energy Bill?

Posted by Robin Deliso on Jan 29, 2015 7:00:00 AM


This is the second part of our guide to capacity auctions. Read the first part here.

In the first part of this guide, I laid out the steps in the capacity auction process, using PJM as an example. I explained how PJM procures the energy it'll need to supply end-users three years in advance. But now for the best part: how the auction's outcome eventually affects your energy bill.

Going back to the auction, note that every bid entered does not necessarily get accepted. We only needed 12,000 MW so the bids above the clearing price don't get accepted, even if they were placed before bids below the clearing price.

Just to review, here are the results of our mock PJM capacity auction:


Your Definitive Guide to (PJM) Capacity Auctions

Posted by Robin Deliso on Jan 28, 2015 7:00:00 AM


Whether your enterprise uses 8,000 MWh per month or 8, there’s a good chance that the price you pay for that energy is largely determined by a capacity auction.

Most of us have no idea what a capacity auction is, let alone how it works. There are loads of hairy politics involved in the auction process, but I'll avoid them for this guide and focus on explaining the process, plain and simple.


DistribuTECH: Advancing the Future of Customer Engagement

Posted by Kris Brewitt on Jan 23, 2015 7:00:00 AM


Looking to stay ahead of the curve on what’s new in transmission and distribution (T&D), demand-side management technologies and customer strategies? DistribuTECH is the place to be. 


5 Lessons You Can't Afford to Miss at EnergySMART 2015

Posted by Christopher Fiorello on Jan 22, 2015 7:00:00 AM


I learned something deeply overwhelming recently. Media Dynamics gave a well-researched estimate that each day the average American is exposed to 557 ads. What's overwheming isn't that number, it's that across those ads folks spend 37 minutes daily trying to digest this deluge of buzzwords, high-gloss images, and oddly synthesized voices.

37 minutes is an extortionate amount of time to spend each day getting beat over the head with things that most likely cost money you don't have and deliver headaches you don't want.

This year, instead of sifting through thousands of vendors' ads celebrating the latest version of something you already have, find the tools that suit your needs early and spend the year using them to get results.

The EnergySMART 2015 conference is the perfect place to do that; it's going to be jam-packed with more great knowledge than you can possibly digest in 2.5 days. So here are five lessons you'll learn at the conference that will leave you with tools you can use at your enterprise right away.


The Weekly Energy Procurement Market Update

Posted by Jason Hughes on Jan 19, 2015 7:00:00 AM


Over the last few months, mild temperatures and record-high gas storage injection have led to lower-than-expected energy prices.

However, heading into late January, average weekly energy prices appear to be on the rise.

Upcoming colder temperatures and still-low natural gas storage levels are driving up weekly average energy pricing, with expectations that prices will continue to climb.


How to Hit Your Customer Engagement Goals in 2015

Posted by Kris Brewitt on Jan 16, 2015 7:00:00 AM


It’s January and you’re probably finalizing 2015 goals. Enhancing customer engagement is high on the resolution list for many utilities and energy retailers—particularly for those looking to boost returns on advanced metering investments.

The most forward-looking utilities and retailers are embracing an emerging trusted energy advisor model centered on delivering targeted, actionable customer insight and new analytics-rich services as a key value proposition. But engaging your customers while continuing to deliver power reliably and cost-effectively can pose a particular challenge.

Here are the three essential steps to meeting your 2015 customer engagement resolutions.


Determine How Your Electricity Bill Treats kW and kWh Differently

Posted by Kevin Johnson on Jan 15, 2015 6:00:00 AM


In the first part of this series, I explained the difference between kilowatts (kW) and kilowatt-hours (kWh) as they relate to the energy a building consumes.

That’s essential knowledge for anyone who has a stake in energy use at your enterprise—not just the folks who handle your utility bill management. But in order to act on the difference between kW and kWh to improve your energy management, you need to understand how the two are treated differently on your bill.


Effortlessly Calculate Accurate Energy Costs down to the Minute

Posted by Kelly Sennatt Esten on Jan 13, 2015 2:33:00 PM


I recently met a major US-based paper manufacturer dealing with low and declining margins in a highly energy-intensive business. Every dollar he saved potentially translated into jobs he didn’t have to cut, and factories he didn’t have to close.

He knew there were dollars to be saved on his energy bill, but he lacked the energy data needed to make decisions on when to run his plants and when not to—like whether it’s better to use Saturday overtime to avoid peak demand charges or if he’s within his budget for the month.

At the moment, he’s stuck calculating energy costs and budget accruals using monthly bills or by estimating based on past usage.


Weekly Energy Supply Market Update

Posted by Jason Hughes on Jan 12, 2015 7:00:00 AM


Market Updates from the Past Week

  • February natural gas contract remains below $3.00/mmBtu and down $0.07 week over week, or 2.5%.
  • Even as frigid temperatures engulfed the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern states in recent days, the forward natural gas and power contracts have continued to remain at a discount over the last week.
  • Forward PJM Western Hub February through December 2015 ATC contracts are down $1.50/MWh (4.2%) over the last week.
  • Thursday’s US Energy Information Administration (EIA) storage withdrawal of -131 Bcf came in below expectations.
  • Weather forecasts anticipate warmer-than-average temperatures for most of the nation for the start of the second half of January.

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Editorial Team

Sarah McAuley

Sarah's been bleeding EnerNOC blue for the last seven years as the Director of Marketing Communications. Prior to joining the team, she worked in the telecom industry, trying to convince telecom carriers to ditch antiquated switching technology and adopt voice-over-IP. She knows that uber-regulated industries like telecom and energy can have their challenges, but she's always loved being in the throes of an industry undergoing massive transformation.

Robin Deliso

As Senior Manager of Brand and Corporate Communications, Robin builds our brand in any way she can, which means contributing to the blog (her favorite posts involve deconstructing wonky topics, which there’s no shortage of in this industry), working with our global teams to help them tell the EnerNOC story worldwide, and otherwise finding creative ways to create awareness for our company and our products.

Thalia Pascalides

As Senior Content Marketing Manager, Thalia strives to deliver valuable, relevant information that helps energy managers become heroes in their everyday jobs. Thalia is a 7+ year EnerNOC veteran but a recent transplant to the west coast hub in San Francisco, where she’s inspired everyday by how technology is revolutionizing our world.  

Christopher Fiorello

Christopher brings experience in academic sociology, journalism and marketing for start-ups and corporations to the EnergySMART blog. He has written about everything from militant groups in the Middle East to marriage among immigrants, and most recently led product-marketing at a data visualization firm. He’s joined the EnerNOC team to help document the future of energy use.

Kristen Brewitt

Kris brings insights on the evolving electric grid to the EnergySMART blog based on 15+ years experience in the utility and infrastructure industry as a marketing strategist, consultant, and public policy and communications advisor. Her core focus has been on distributed energy resources, transmission and distribution system technology, and transportation and infrastructure policy. She joined the EnerNOC team to help propel the utility future forward through customer engagement.