Energy Efficiency: Put People Before Buildings

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We’re at that part of 2016 when many of our New Year’s resolutions lay behind us, broken and abandoned, despite our best intentions: We’ve resumed eating carbs, we’ve stopped going to the gym, and we’re still in that unhealthy relationship. Not to worry. If you adopted a personal New Year’s resolution to increase customer participation in your utility’s energy efficiency … Read More

Boosting Your Utility’s Employee Engagement, CSAT and Profitability

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The utility industry has been roiled in recent years by mergers & acquisitions (M&A). Most publicly held electric and gas utilities are either in the process of integrating a merger, preparing a merger, or both. Over $166 billion of utility-industry M&A has taken place since 2012, according to PwC’s North American Power Deals (see below). M&A can be particularly hard … Read More

Important Lessons for Utilities from Presidential Candidates and Football Teams

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We’re still a year away from the 2016 presidential election, but I’m ready for it to be over. The non-stop, clown-car cacophony of debates, news cycles, spin, polls, charges, counter charges, and breathless (sometimes brainless) commentary about who’s up and who’s down today has worn me out. I have no partisan loyalties and I’m not energized by any of the … Read More

Tips from Your Peers for Talking About Price Increases

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I’ve blogged and spoken a lot about utility price increase communications this year, largely because utility communicators and marketers said it was their top strategic challenge for 2015. Today, I’d like to share some insights and recommendations three utility communicators made at a recent industry conference. Communicating electric price increases is a confusing and emotional process, and it’s one that … Read More

Retirees: A Utility’s Secret Weapon in the Net Metering Battle

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Electric utilities across the country are getting PR black eyes on rooftop solar and net metering. The Washington Post, The New York Times and countless local news organizations have run articles on this national trend of homeowners putting solar panels on their rooftops. The controversy arises over net metering: what should homeowners pay to maintain the electric grid and preserve … Read More

Employees – The Heart of Any Service Provider

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I walked down the airport jetway, physically tired but mentally energized after a very positive client visit. I recently switched my flying allegiance to Southwest Airlines, and I’m glad I did because this visit lasted longer than originally planned. Not all of our meetings could be held on Tuesday; some had to be moved to Wednesday. Rebooking my return flight … Read More

What Stories Are You Telling Your Stakeholders?

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“I love country music because of …” “… the stories!” we all said, finishing her sentence. I was having lunch with a client team at a utility. We were getting to know each other in advance of a large, time-sensitive project where we would need to work together closely. In the early “getting to know you” phase of our conversation, … Read More

Reaching Viewers’ Hearts through Their Funny Bones

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Several years ago I attended a utility communicators’ conference that featured a speaker from a national insurance company. An odd choice to speak to a group of utility communicators, I thought, but I took away some salient points. Insurance companies, like utilities, were a low-interest category among the general public, the speaker said. No controversy there. The speaker further observed … Read More

Natural Gas: Putting the Pedal to the Metal

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Vast reserves of previously inaccessible oil and natural gas in U.S. rock formations, as well as new technology that enables us to recover those resources, may give the United States an energy boom and an edge in the global economy. It is estimated that it will take up to a decade for other countries to catch up technologically to match … Read More