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Utilities have always been a nexus between power generation and the customer, and play a central role in how customers experience the electricity system. Their offering and the communication of such can make or break significant advances in the energy transition in the region where each operates.

It makes sense each year to step back and look at those that have leveraged their unique position in the energy landscape to foster the energy transition.

To ascertain which are worthy of recognition, The smarter E Europe is bringing together EuPD Research and the Deutsche CleanTech Institut (DCTI). Those selected will receive the Energiewende Award for Utilities. The event will take place as a part of The smarter E Europe. On May 16, from 1:45 pm to 3:45 pm, at The smarter E Forum in Hall B3, booth B3.570, EuPD Research is set to take the stage to share insights regarding the role of utilities in the energy transition, followed by the award ceremony and networking drinks.

Innovation models

European utilities are entering a period of rapid change. Few doubt that utilities will continue to play a central role in the energy system of tomorrow and, as such, they must evolve with the times. Their business models are changing. The energy transition-related products and services utilities have in their offering are an important driver for the shift towards decentralized and clean power generation.

EuPD Research developed a quality model to determine the engagement of utilities to pursue the needs of customers with regard to electricity, mobility, efficiency and heating, which is reflected in the award categories. According to the model, a utility will be judged by its offerings of PV systems and software tools that allow for energy monitoring to improve efficiency, or EV charging business models.

Award assessment

Contrary to other industry awards, based on applying, prequalification and nomination, the Energiewende Award for Utilities considers all of the nearly 1,800 utilities active in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Core to determining the winner is a customer survey. Private households, as well as commercial and industrial customers, are asked to list the products and services that are of paramount importance to them in relation to the energy transition. The survey is performed quantitively, and participants have the chance to rank higher key products and services they think are more critical.

Customer experience is simulated through an anonymized ‘mystery shopper’ process. The system considers how the utility presents its offering online, and how customer communication online and over the phone is conducted. The experience is translated into a point system and transferred into a ranking.

With a holistic eye on the energy transition, the Energiewende Award for Utilities features four categories, all of which have been dubbed as critical elements to its success. Additionally, there will be one award recognizing overall performance in the field of energy transition.

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