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How Utilities Can Participate in the Clean Energy Transition

It is well known that a clean energy transition is needed, and urgently, to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Utility companies, especially in the United States, have a key role to play in the transition, from updating the ageing electrical grid to offering renewable energy options to their customers. In this article, we explore 5 steps utility companies can take to lead the clean energy transition and how WatchWire can assist them in the process.

Step 1: Updating the Power Grid

A recent article by Wired exposed the main roadblock to a clean energy transition: an ageing and sparse power grid that can’t transport renewable energy from where it’s generated to where it’s needed. Utilities looking to rectify this problem can experiment with a variety of grid-enhancing tools, including dynamic line rating to improve capacity. The other solution is more straightforward: Install more wires.

Step 2: Offering DER Options

Distributed energy resources (DERs) can benefit utility customers while providing flexibility to the grid. Resources such as distributed solar, electric vehicles, energy storage, and demand response can help utilities balance the variability of increasing wind and solar output on the grid. They can also help utilities meet renewable mandates, achieve decarbonization goals, shave growing peak demand, and avoid costs of building new generation and transmission.

Step 3: Replacing Fossil Fuel Plants with New Renewables

Utilities can accelerate the clean energy transition and increase equity earnings by moving capital from uneconomic fossil power plants relying on significant fuel expenditures to plants that run on free fuel – solar and wind.

Step 4: Installing Smart Grid Infrastructure

Utility companies looking to make their mark in the fight against climate change can embrace smart grid technology such as connected and automated devices and technologies for meter reading, system monitoring, and predictive and preventive maintenance.

Step 5: Helping Organizations with Their Clean Energy Transition

Organizations typically follow three steps in the renewable energy transition – and electric power companies can help with all three:

  • Reducing electricity demand
  • Increasing renewable energy use
  • Electrifying new end uses (e.g. transportation, heating and cooling, and industrial processes) and powering them with renewable energy

Utility companies can boost clean energy supplies, act as a middleman in renewable energy deals, enable customers to use DERs (see above).

How WatchWire Can Assist Utilities

A customer engagement software provides utilities with competitive differentiation through digital transformation, improved Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores, and the insights needed to identify new services and programs. It also enables utilities to engage their customers with compelling and personalized energy and sustainability data. This enables customers to lower their energy use (see above), measure the effectiveness of DERs, and more.

WatchWire’s web-based Customer Engagement Platform offers these features and more:

To learn more about the benefits of a customer engagement platform, download our whitepaper, “What to Look for in a Customer Engagement Platform.”