By DR. FRIDRIK LARSEN
There are many current challenges in the energy sector. The sector is adapting to increased demand for sustainable energy and balancing new renewable sources with the current loads of the users connected to the grid. The generation of energy by renewables such as wind and solar at industrial scale is not the only challenge the utilities need to find a sustainable way to implement but also how to feed the electricity created by distributed generation and prosumers onto the grid.
Communicating with prosumers
These challenges are not only for the engineers to figure out – they create an energy marketing challenge – how good are the energy brands in communicating with end customers of energy and how strong are the brands in creating a dialogue with different stakeholders in order to implement the renewables and different types of technology and adapt users to the new reality of the energy space.
A new two-way dialogue between energy company and consumer
Distributed generation and prosumers have created a whole new dialogue between utilities and the public – the public is no longer just the recipient of energy but is starting to feed electricity into the grid. It has been a headache for the regular consumer to understand the normal energy bills, imagine how the regular prosumer is able to understand the bill when he or she is the one charging the utility. This requires clear communication, good utility marketing and a good energy marketing communication needs the clear vision of the energy brand behind it.
The democratisation of energy will happen on some scale in the coming years. The advancements in solar technology and small-scale generation of energy mean that price will come down. Powered by blockchain technology and smart devices, microgrids will begin to become more frequent where people trade energy they generate with their neighbours. Peer to peer trading of energy might become as common as running water is today. The energy customer of tomorrow might sell excess electricity that came from the rooftop and stored in their car onto the grid. Development and implementation of vehicle-to-grid solutions has already begun.
Adjusting to a new reality
Energy companies, whether the traditional utility or energy retailers, might have to adjust to this new reality of microgrids and peer to peer energy trading. Although the need for their traditional services might not be as needed as it is today, they are trusted as experts in electricity and their brands might take advantage of that brand asset. Energy as a service will become an invaluable part of the business model and it will be interesting to follow the development of the unique value propositions that the future energy brands will offer their customers.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on the Charging the Energy Brand blog at https://blog.branding.energy/the-decentralisation-and-democratisation-of-energy/
A pioneer of energy branding, Fridrik was the first person in the world to present a PhD dissertation with a focus on energy branding. Fridrik is the CEO of LarsEn Energy Branding, a consultancy working exclusively on branding for companies within the energy space (www.larsen.energy). He has become a leading authority on branding within the global energy sector. Fridrik is passionate about consumer-centric energy markets. He has served on the board of the New York Energy Week and is on the advisory committee for the European Utility Week where he has lead the track on connecting with customers.
CHARGE Energy Branding is a global event in Reykjavik, Iceland. September 24-25 2018.
It‘s more important than ever for the energy sector to become more agile, proactive and customer-centric than ever before. Market liberalisation has created opportunities for new entrants, innovation, new energy sources and increased stakeholder interest in energy have radically changed the energy space for good. This has meant radical changes for the business environment of energy companies. Branding is the strategic philosophy that defines an enterprise and how it engages with stakeholders at any touchpoint. Meet people and learn from peers who are engaged in connecting utilities to the minds and hearts of the consumers.
Leaders in Energy members can benefit from a 15% discount to attend this unique energy conference in Iceland, September 24-25 2018.
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Leaders in Energy will be hosting an event on Utilities of the Future on Thursday, October 4th, 5:30 – 8:30 pm, at the Edison Electric Institute.
For more information: https://leadersinenergy.org/utilities-of-the-future/ and registration: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07efnsxsvid123e11d&oseq=&c=&ch=