The utility of 2020 will be an energy concierge, NYU students predict



Quick Take:  Consulting firm DEFG recently hosted a competition at NYU that challenged students to envision how utilities will interact with customers in 2020. The winning team predicted that utilities will supply a variety of new technologies and services, ranging from rooftop solar to energy storage to demand response. What's more, utilities will pro-actively assist customers to make the right choices, going so far as to act as an "energy concierge."


I agree that this could be a valuable role for utilities. Now all we have to do is convince regulators to allow this new future to occur by allowing utilities to be fairly compensated for their new roles. Click the link below to access the winning entry. - By Jesse Berst


DEFG Announces Winner of NYU Student Competition To Envision the Future Customer Experience in the Utility Sector


The Millennial Generation Expects Seamless Interactions with Focus on Design


Washington, DC ... DEFG, a management consulting firm specializing in energy, hosted a competition with a diverse group of students at New York University (NYU) to develop their own Vision 2020 of the future customer experience in the utility sector from the perspective of the millennial generation.  The project took place in a finance class offered within the Gallatin School, a college within NYU that attracts diverse students known for thinking "outside the box” while pursuing inter-disciplinary approaches to their education.


Working with the professor, Peter Rajsingh, DEFG crafted a challenge for the NYU students - to become "futurists” and tell a story in the year 2020 centered on future interactions between customers and utilities. Students were divided into small teams that conducted market research and trends analysis, and then to brought the vision to life through a narrative and visual demonstrations of the future.   The interactions chosen by the students ranged from new bill pay options, to future energy management and advances in clean technologies, to a new paradigm for low income consumers to earn energy credits. 


The four finalist teams presented to senior executive members of the Utility Customer Research Consortium (UCRC) and a winner was selected.  The winning team was Team "Future of Energy 2020” of Katarina Addiego, Carter Barnhart, Andrew Wagner-Trugman and Max Waldman


The winning Vision 2020 centered on a story depicting a young couple with different needs and expectations as they navigated buying a new home that featured a number of new technologies and applications that both managed energy and were environmentally friendly.  The utility served as a partner and was pro-active in assisting the young couple with their decision-making, even providing an "energy concierge” to the couple.