The U.S. Department of Energy released Voices of Experience: Insights on Smart Grid Customer Engagement  at the National Town Meeting on Demand Response and Smart Grid in Washington, D.C.

This newly released document compiles information on the successful approaches used by electric utilities to engage customers in smart grid technology and deployments. The guide is the result of a stakeholder effort, led by DOE, to capture lessons learned and insights on smart grid customer engagement that will help steer a stronger utility-customer relationship.

In a joint collaborative effort with the DOE, Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) will house and promote the guide throughout the electric power industry. The guide is currently posted at www.smartgrid.gov/voices.

“Customer engagement is an evolving, ongoing process in the electric power industry,” explains Patty Durand, SGCC’s executive director. “But we know once customers are engaged and educated about smart grid they are supportive of it,” she said. “The guide provides practical, helpful and timely insights and advice for utilities as they implement and integrate education and engagement into their residential, customer-facing smart grid programs.”

Durand notes that any utility can use the guidebook, no matter what stage they are in with smart grid customer engagement projects.

“Utilities just beginning the process can use the guide to learn what has been successful at other utilities and the lessons they learned along the way,” she said. “Moreover, utilities can also use it to confirm an approach to customer engagement, or to get ideas for overcoming a challenge.”

The guide complements SGCC’s newest report, Smart Grid Customer Engagement Success Stories, which spotlights the strategies and tactics employed by U.S. electric utilities to successfully engage customers --- and recently has been updated to include a new success story from utility Gulf Power. Read and download SGCC’s report here: http://smartgridcc.org/sgcc-smart-grid-customer-engagement-case-studies.