One of the greatest benefits that companies gain from data analysis is the ability to spot new business opportunities and market trends that they may have otherwise missed.
In the energy industry, companies such as EnerNoc and Energy Points are drawing on analytics to deliver new business services to commercial and residential energy customers such as the monitoring of energy meters and weather patterns to help customers conserve energy and save money.
EnerNoc monitors the energy meters located in the buildings of its commercial clients as well as other factors such as real-time weather conditions to better understand how its clients use energy.
EnerNoc uses this information to help its commercial clients implement efficiency measures that are aimed at leveraging electricity costs when they are at their lowest.
Using analytics lets EnerNoc quickly diagnose energy consumption and weather-related information to provide up-to-the-minute recommendations for its clients.
For its part, Energy Points uses big data analytics and historical customer data to examine the total consumption of water, electricity, fuel, waste, and other factors to score the sustainability of its customers’ facilities. Energy Points draws on the use of historical data to develop a simple scoring metric to help its commercial customers track the sustainability of their facilities and operations.
Other companies, such as GE Renewable Energy, are also using analytics to help identify opportunities for making their clients’ energy operations more efficient.
For instance, GE Renewable Energy is using analytics with the 2.5 megawatt “Brilliant” wind turbine it markets to energy producers and other customers to help generate 15% more power and 25% more capacity than its previous turbine.
The company does this by placing remote sensors around different parts of the turbine to collect tens of thousands of data points regarding blade pitch, wind speed, output and grid conditions to enhance turbine-to-turbine communications on wind farms and optimize operations so owners can more quickly identify maintenance needs.
There are multiple ways that energy companies can leverage big data and analytics to identify new services they can deliver to customers as well as generate new revenue streams.
For instance, utilities can utilize information that’s gathered through smart meters to help identify likely customer billing questions and other types of support issues that customers are apt to raise, according to IDC Energy Insights analyst Jill Feblowitz. Utilities can then be better prepared to respond to customer issues by recommending certain actions like replacing an inefficient refrigerator or troubleshooting problems with an HVAC unit.
“Using analytics to better understand customer preferences, attitudes, and behaviors, utilities can identify and better satisfy customers’ needs,” notes Feblowitz.
By using analytics to better anticipate the needs of their customers, energy companies can provide the products and support that can improve customer satisfaction, strengthen loyalty, and boost customer lifetime value.
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