To build a relationship with customers, a relationship that will make customers think twice before changing electricity providers, smart retailers will deliver more than a firehose of data. Next-generation tools from retailers will need to inform, educate and delight customers.

In the future, they’ll link with other data sets, like weather forecasts, to tell people when to turn their heating up or down to maximise efficiency. They’ll alert customers to spot price hikes and give people a chance to temporarily turn off less-efficient appliances to avoid brownouts. They’ll alert you at work to let you know if there’s been an outage during the day. They’ll offer incentives for changing the time you run the dishwasher. In the shorter term, they’ll let you know if your energy use has spiked before you get an unusually-large bill in the mail.

Instead of data, they’ll deliver value.

I wrote about the next steps for Smart Electricity Meters over at the Floate Design Partners blog.

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