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  • Writer's pictureMirka Karra

Utilities, this is how you can identify and tap into the DER assets in your customer base

The DER impressive uptick

The adoption of DER (Distributed Energy Resources) assets (EVs, PVs, heat pumps, and batteries) across households has experienced an extraordinary surge in recent years. Solar PV installations, in particular, have become increasingly popular as homeowners seek cleaner and more affordable energy solutions. In fact, according to the newest International Energy Agency report global solar remained the main source of renewables in 2023 accounting for 286 GW, while in 2024, the figure is set to grow to almost 310 GW. As more households embrace solar power, utilities face the challenge of effectively harnessing and managing these distributed resources. Similar trends are noticed with the adoption of EVs. Despite challenges posed by supply chain disruptions and the global Covid-19 pandemic, electric car sales experienced a remarkable surge in 2021 across major car markets (China, United States, Europe, and other regions), reaching an all-time high. Sales figures nearly doubled compared to the previous year, totaling 6.6 million electric cars sold. Consequently, the total number of electric cars on the world's roads reached an impressive milestone of 16.5 million vehicles.

Watch the video and find out how utilities can identify and tap into the Distributed Energy Resources assets into their customer base

Understanding the DER challenge

As the world embraces Distributed Energy Resources behind the meter, including solar PV installations, electric vehicles (EVs), and batteries, energy utilities find themselves grappling with a critical challenge—limited visibility into these assets into their customer base. This lack of knowledge hampers their ability to optimize operations, engage customers effectively, and harness the potential benefits of these assets. Leveraging smart meter data and enriched insights, utilities can fuel their Customer Relationship Management system (CRM), Business Intelligence tools, and marketing campaigns, propelling them toward a brighter, greener, and smart future via demand response programs to optimize the grid load.

Unlocking Opportunities through DER Intelligence

By harnessing the power of advanced Energy A.I. technology, utilities can transform the challenge into a unique opportunity, leveraging different use cases:

Grid-facing insights for utilities

The greatest advantage for vertically integrated utilities, which not only oversee the grid but also manage it, lies in leveraging the insights provided by Behind the Meter (BTM) DERs. These insights offer utilities a heightened level of visibility over time into grid-facing loads and photovoltaic (PV) production occurring at the low-voltage grid's edge, encompassing feeder and substation levels. These areas often remain obscured, leaving utilities in the dark regarding the burgeoning expansion of renewable energy sources. These grid-facing insights empower utilities with grid planning by mapping Behind The Meter circuits like grid edge assets, for capacity management and avoiding brownouts.

Personalized marketing for PV Owners

Utilities and energy retailers can tap into rich solar PV insights to offer owners tailored digital marketing based on their energy PV production and (self)consumption patterns. With a comprehensive understanding of each customer's needs, utilities can determine whether upgrading to a higher-capacity PV system would be beneficial, and thus create a promo campaign for PV owners. This data-driven approach enables homeowners to receive relevant information, maximizing the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their PV investments. As a result, utilities can foster stronger customer relationships, bolster customer satisfaction, and drive greater adoption of solar PV installations. The PV production estimation feature takes into account whole-home PV inverter independent production yield per hour, day, and month and does not rely on any PV inverter API or EMS telemetric system making this a highly scalable solution.

Optimized EV charging recommendations

The electrification of transportation has gained significant traction, with EV sales soaring worldwide. As EV ownership grows, utilities can utilize DER Intelligence to identify EV users who would benefit from faster-charging infrastructure and EV-specific dynamic tariff structures. By getting information on charging patterns and energy consumption data, utilities can optimize EV charging schedules, reducing costs for customers and maximizing the utilization of renewable energy sources. By knowing who is charging, when, and how much kWh, utilities can develop new rates for EV owners - Time of Use (ToU), Time of Day (ToD), or Dynamic Tariffs that follow market signals, and offer them a specific rate plan that helps them shift EV charging moments to lower price points during the day. This approach strengthens the bond between utilities and EV owners and facilitates the seamless integration of EVs into the larger energy ecosystem.

Enhanced customer experience

By delving into the vast power of smart meter data, utilities can gain valuable insights into customer energy consumption patterns, preferences, and DER assets behind the meter. This wealth of information enables utilities to offer personalized and targeted engagement, enhancing the overall customer experience. Utilities can provide energy efficiency tips, customized demand response programs, and tailored energy plans that align with individual customer needs. This proactive approach not only boosts customer loyalty but also encourages greater DER adoption, fostering a more sustainable energy future and keeping the grid in a healthy state.

NET2GRID's DER Intelligence solution acts as a catalyst for utilities and energy retailers, enabling them to tap into the immense potential offered by DER assets. The DER solution is by default included in NET2GRID’s Customer Intelligence product and can be executed on a whole user base against low costs.


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