Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Retail energy suppliers must drive new technology, says Constellation chief

Steve Rogerson
June 2, 2015
 
With dramatic changes taking place in energy markets, retail energy suppliers must drive new technology and innovation to develop new lines of business that can better meet evolving customer needs, according to Joseph Nigro, CEO of Baltimore-based Constellation, in his keynote address at last month’s Retail Energy Executive Forum in South Carolina.
 
He saidcompanies needed to identify new technologies and opportunities that were about to emerge and capitalise on them, rather than reacting to them.
 
“The old way of doing business won’t work in this new environment,” Nigro said. “By embracing and leveraging technology, our industry can effectively improve reliability, transition to clean energy, and lay the groundwork for a truly modern, integrated grid, with a renewed focus on our customers.”
 
New opportunities to deliver customer value include distributed generation and smart technologies, Nigro said. He noted Constellation’s commitment to expanding its distributed energy offerings, including solar, battery storage, combined heat and power, fuel cells, and more. In addition, smart meters, smart thermostats and smart appliances are changing the way consumers think about and use energy.
 
“All of us will continue to advocate for competitive markets and the benefits of energy choice for consumers,” Nigro said. “Yet at the same time, Constellation also is finding ways to create and enhance customer value in addition to competitive retail sales, such as distributed generation, energy efficiency solutions, compressed natural gas station, and home services.”
 
He said Constellation was looking at developments in the energy sector through its Technology Ventures group, which invests in growth-stage energy technology companies.
 
“In the past, the energy industry often looked at new technologies as disruptive,” he said. “But to embrace innovation, we must look at these technologies as enabling. Our goal is to work with emerging businesses, not against them.”
 
Constellation is a retail supplier of power, natural gas and energy products and services for homes and businesses across the USA.