Lessons learned from our Innovation in a Mature Portfolio webinar
Last month we hosted a webinar with Consumers Energy to discuss their innovation framework and turning customer problems into successful pilots. If you missed that conversation or want a refresher, here are some of our key takeaways:
Be intentional and proactive about portfolio innovation.
Consumers Energy worked with their regulator to allocate a specific portion of portfolio budget toward innovation. While this approach may not work for every utility, having a consistent annual focus on innovation can help your portfolio deliver more savings and reach new customer segments. The goal of new pilots is less about perfection and more about testing new delivery models, providing new solutions to customer problems, and making a case for long-term continued performance.
Leverage portfolio data to build customer problem statements and identify pilot opportunities.
Most utility portfolios have a wealth of data from customers, contractors, and internal resources that can help identify problem areas for new pilots to focus on. Using information like market potential studies, targeted focus groups, or even macro-economic conditions along with the insights from your portfolio’s performance can help you identify opportunities for portfolio evolution.
Internal stakeholder engagement is critical to pilot development.
Focus groups and customer feedback are powerful tools for identifying opportunities in your pilots, but don’t forget about the other parts of your organization that may need to weigh in. Even the best pilot ideas can be held up if there are conflicting priorities or unforeseen impacts internally. Having a well-defined process for gathering internal feedback will help put new pilots and programs in the best position to succeed long-term.
Build robust key performance indicators (KPI) to continuously measure pilot success.
Savings or installation goals are typically a high priority for pilots and new programs—but consistently tracking progress can be challenging. Understanding which KPIs or milestones you’re aiming for along the way gives you a chance to pivot or make adjustments as you make progress toward your goals.
You can watch our entire webinar, Driving Innovation in a Mature Portfolio, online and stay tuned for more content.