Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming an increasingly integral part of various processes across the industry. At ETS22 we had a fireside chat discussion with some of the leading industry executives about successful applications of AI in utilities. Speakers on this panel were:

​​- Evan O’Mahoney, VP, Technology Services, CPS Energy

Cengizhan Yenerim, Head of Risk Development, Engie NA

– Trinity Lloyd, Energy Transition & Sustainability Lead, Google Cloud, Google

– Yuvaraj Mani, Chief Product Officer, App Orchid

Key takeaways

  • AI readiness starts with problems we are trying to solve. If solutions are not applicable to the organization it’s probably not a good investment. Second, is long term supportability having the tools, the workforce, and the strategy to manage and maintain the technology and build on it from initial use cases. Lastly, is to understand the data. Know your business and your internal and external engagements.
  • Data strategies have to adapt to an ever changing technological environment. Data has to come from all places, not just internally. Data now flows both ways between the customer and the utility. Radical collaboration is critical to solving sustainability and creating new solutions and to being prepared for electrification.
  • Success in customer experience is related to design. Ensuring that the product or experience is creating a delightful experience for the customer. Motivating employees to create outcomes that matter to the customers is key to achieving a delightful customer experience. It’s important to make sure employees understand their roles and define how they contribute to customer engagement, creating a connection between employees and customers.
  • The customers and their priorities have fairly significantly changed in the past 18 – 24 months with the amount of organizations making renewable energy and net zero commitments a horizontal problem/challenge/opportunity to engage with our customers in a way we haven’t historically before. Customers need to be part of the solutions.
  • AI is important in determining exactly what the customer wants and needs when they call for assistance.
  • For AI to be successful you need to know what data is needed for the objective and what is the output. Determining the use cases of the AI system, see if you have the data that could feed into it. Then, evaluate how good and clean your data is. AI is not a fixed asset. The output will improve overtime with the collection of data. It is an appreciating investment.
  • When it comes to AI and employees skills and creativity. Creativity is very adaptable and you can always repurpose those assets and give them a mechanism and a place.

AI has transformative capabilities in utilities, especially when it comes to customer relations and customer, giving utilities the ability to be proactive and accurate with their customer service and engagement. The technology is ever evolving and will continue to enhance and improve with the collection of data overtime. However, the success of AI outputs and applications ultimately relies on the quality of the data.