Patty Durand, President and CEO of US based Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative, a consumer focused non-profit, shares her organization’s research based insights at the Energy Innovations Forum in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada on April 4, 2017.

Patty Durand speaks at April 2017, New Brunswick Energy Innovations Forum in Fredericton, Canada. She directs her message to a predominantly utility industry audience. Others, interested in the evolving utility landscape were also present.

Durand focused this presentation on her organization’s research findings about the evolving electricity consumer. Her research shows greater segmentation of customers than utility executives might think. She urges utilities to pay attention to what these changing consumers want.

Wise consumers and utilities stand to benefit from ongoing electric grid updates. This will involve our electrical infrastructure to be fitted with smart meters and electronic sensors, to enable usage to be shifted to non peak hours. New Brunswick Power has been doing this for awhile, by using automation to preheat water heaters (owned by New Brunswick Power and rented by many of their customers) in the wee hours of the morning ahead of the morning peak demand, so the morning strain on the grid is reduced while seamlessly enabling customers to have hot water for their morning showers just like always.

Utilities who heed Durand’s advice will have to evolve. New Brunswick Power is evolving. Michel Losier of New Brunswick Power is on the Board of the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative. He recognizes the need to engage differently with customers in these changing times.

New Brunswick Power has a U Tube Video called Beat the Peak to encourage customer engagement. Is your utility engaging with you through online tools? If not, how does your utility engage with you?