This blog was originally posted on Comverge.com. Itron acquired Comverge on June 1, 2017, and  all future demand response blogs will be posted here. 

As consumers, we are all becoming more engaged in our energy management and as a result, electric utilities are increasingly looking for ways to maintain an ongoing dialogue with us. And one of the best ways for utilities to achieve this within an energy management initiative – such as a demand response program – is through the use of Wi-Fi and cellular two-way devices.

We’ve discussed communications methods for demand response in the past, such as in this eBook, but we wanted to go further into the benefits delivered by two-way devices for both utilities and their customers. These low latency and highly responsive devices, when coupled with an underlying software platform for managing demand management programs, allow utilities to create two-way, real-time communication with their residential customers. The result? More effective demand response, energy efficiency and customer engagement programs.

But this isn’t merely conceptual. In fact, today we announced that Comverge has agreements with electric utilities for the installation of more than 400,000 two-way devices. What’s more, we’ve already implemented 260,000 of these devices across the country. Based on these numbers, there’s clearly a huge market appetite for this technology.

Why has this technology become so popular? The simple answer is that utilities are increasingly looking to deliver an enhanced customer experience, which as Forrester Research highlighted, is certainly not unique to the energy industry. And other analyst firms are echoing this sentiment: in fact, managing the customer experience has become more important for organizations across all industries in recent years, with industry analyst firm Gartner predicting that 90 percent of companies will compete almost entirely on the basis of customer experience within the next two years.

Simply put, utilities can leverage the two-way information exchange enabled by these devices to optimize program performance, as well as improve the customer experience. If you’d like to learn more about how Comverge can help you achieve this, drop us a line.

Jason Cigarran