How Can We Reduce Solar Soft Costs? Part 3: Lowering Customer Acquisition Costs

November 6, 2013 by Rosana Francescato

Solar Soft Costs

A lot of consumers express interest in solar, but close to 95% of those never follow through. It can cost thousands for a solar company to acquire each customer. That makes customer acquisition the largest portion of balance-of-system soft costs for solar.[read more]


Technology transforms the utility business model

September 11, 2012 by Steven Collier

A modern grid for the 21st century will require the power industry to move over time to a more de-centralized paradigm, one that embraces distributed generation, storage and energy management systems. New complexities will arise, including large mobile loads (PHEVs, EVs), interconnected microgrids and multi-directional flows of energy and information. Nimble third parties are already seizing the initiative.[read more]

The Smart Grid Data Learning Curve for Consumers

May 3, 2011 by Christine Hertzog

Last week I wrote about the challenges of Smart Grid data impacting utilities and potential outsourcing trends.  While utilities do have a learning curve to climb about data management and analytics, end users (residential, commercial, and industrial customers) also need to learn the ramifications of the creation and use of entirely...[read more]

Dude – Where’s My Customer? On Telcos, Utilities and Smart Grids. Towards a “SIM Card” for Smart Grids

April 26, 2010 by Tom Raftery

We had a really solid briefing with Convergys today. The firm sells software and services to telcos and utilities for customer care and billing – it has 80k employees worldwide, 550+ clients, and $3bn in revenue. According to Greenmonk research most utilities are failing to understand the the need to put the customer right at the...[read more]

Smart Grid – Coming to a Town Near You

April 15, 2010 by Sheila Oliva

America’s energy needs face several paradigm shifts. To help meet projected growth in the demand for electricity while at the same time doing the least harm to the environment on the power production and consumption sides, smart grid technology will play an important role for a number of reasons: It will bring greater security and...[read more]

Telecom Industry Lessons for Electric Utilities Part 2

January 25, 2010 by Christine Hertzog

I was at the Smart Grid Summit in Miami last week where I presented a Smart Grid overview and moderated two sessions on Game-Changing Applications and Home Energy Management Systems.  Another session focused on the lessons that telecom companies can teach utilities, which aligns nicely with my discussion from last week.  Here...[read more]

Tracking Public Perceptions (Part 3): Electricity Price Trade-offs

September 28, 2009 by Pierre Guimond

In my previous posting I highlighted the importance that electricity customers place on the price they pay, and shared data that showed price-related concerns have risen to an all-time high.  In my final post about CEA’s 2009 Public Attitudes research I want to focus again on price, but this time in terms of the relative importance...[read more]

Customers Might Prefer to Be Shareholders in New Nuclear Plant Construction

September 9, 2009 by Rod Adams

Over the past several days, I have read a number of stories about the political and legal challenges that companies like Southern Co., FPL, and CPS are facing as they attempt to roll some of the costs of efforts to expand their nuclear plant capacity into their current rate structure. In most cases the numbers are quite small - CPS, for...[read more]

Not so Smart Grids, doomed to fail?

July 20, 2009 by Tom Raftery

I was invited by James McClelland and Maureen Coveney to participate in a panel at SAP’s Sapphire conference earlier this year discussing Smart Grids. One of the key points I made was that utilities are not used to having to deal with customers. The only real interactions utilities have with customers are 1) sending out bills and 2)...[read more]