Can Energy Co's Cope With Home Tech?
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Can Energy Co's Cope With Home Tech?

05 October 2017

Our energy providers are facing a tsunami of change and for many its been a game of catch up.

Alongside new forms of clean energy like solar on roof tops, rising costs and growing consumer complaints about price or services, they’re also confronting old and new homes being rapidly reinvented by technology. 


Better broadband has not only made smarter grids and home meters possible so consumption can be more efficiently delivered and controlled, but the accelerated uptake in smart home gadgets and systems is putting real power in to the hands of consumers. 


It is in other words and complete game changer for how we manage or use energy at home, in neighbourhoods and even whole suburbs.


It’s the perfect scenario for innovation, but lets face it our utilities haven’t been renowned for a lot of that in the past. I hope for their sake that’s about to change.


Even simple gadgets like smart home thermostats by the likes of Google’s Nest and a myriad others these days are potentially very disruptive to utilities by giving consumers real insight into just how they use power (and gas and water) and what they can do to manage it better to cut bills. 


But when something like Nest is networked with other devices and appliances right round the house, renewable power sources, battery storage or automation for sophisticated environmental control whether you’re home or not then its obvious the home energy sector is in for a major shake up. 


For utilities that also means their revenue streams no longer look as robust as they once did.


The other big threat is from nimble startups increasingly engaging consumers directly about how they get their power or how they use it. Just this week I saw a Singapore startup called Solar Home that provides simple solar energy access for off grid homes and communities finish a robust investment round, but that’s happening every where these days.


While utilities are now starting to release their own smart home thermostats or digital apps they need to be doing more to harness all this technology and data at home. Forging partnerships with tech or clean energy companies and startups to really explore what technology can do at home would be a very smart move, but they also need to really look at kick starting a more innovative culture if they want to stand out in what is going to be a tough market. 


And taking some of these steps to boost energy efficiency, cut carbon emissions and sustainable green power is not only the way of the future but a great story to promote.


In fact a new study highlights some of these issues and you can find it here:

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