EDP Comercial Portugal received the European Utility Week Energy Retail Award for its smart home offering - EDP Smarthome
EDP Smarthome aggregates four of its products and positioning itself on each element of the smart home business – solar energy, energy management and electric mobility – to empower energy users.
In an interview with Metering & Smart Energy International, Nuno Martins, product manager of Energy Services at EDP, expands on the development of the company's smart home offering, the biggest challenges facing the utilities sector and his three predictions for the energy sector in 2017.
What impact has the project had in the organisation? How will EDP Smarthome benefit the lives of your customers?
NM: EDP Comercial in Portugal wants to lead the way in the new downstream. So, it has launched the EDP Smarthome concept, aggregating four of its products and positioning itself on each element of the smart home business: solar energy, energy storage, energy management (edp re:dy) and electric mobility.
Integrating all these services creates a new experience for customers and empowers them. Customers are fast becoming 'Promasumers' (producer + manager + consumer of energy). Promasumers produce their own energy through solar panels, they can also be managers of energy with edp re:dy, allowing them to control and manage their home’s consumption and equipment. Finally, promasumers are also consumers in that they use energy for their homes and are beginning to add new elements to their electric portfolios, such as an electric vehicle.
EDP Comercial’s Smarthome offering is an aggregation of services empowering clients on this market shift – solar energy, energy storage, energy management (edp re:dy) and electric vehicles.
What personal learning have you taken away from being part of this project?
NM: With EDP Smarthome, our team understood the best way to communicate our entire portfolio of services. With all services integrated in one single aggregated concept, it is much easier for the customer to realize how everything is integrated and leverage the full potential of a smart home. By subscribing to EDP Smarthome, customers choose to have an efficient and a more sustainable way of living.
This project also helped us cross-selling our services. For example, a customer that buys an electric car, should also subscribe to edp re:dy to control the energy consumption of his/her car and optimise the charging station power.
What strength and unique perspective did you bring to the team?
NM: As a team we were able to think and create a solution where all of our services are integrated in the so called “EDP Smarthome”.
The future is going to be electric, with people equipping heir homes with solar panels, local storage, electric mobility and an energy management system to manage the entire house where everything is integrated.
The home of the future will be smart, and with all these services integrated in one platform, the best way to design our offer to the client was to integrate everything turning the home of the future into a more efficient and sustainable one.
What do you see the biggest challenge being for the utility sector going forward?
NM: Utilities worldwide are facing an energetic paradigm shift, which will challenge their businesses. The biggest challenge for the utility sector moving forward, is to rethink their value proposition and value chain due to the new downstream.
With all these solutions available to the customers, utilities should adapt their portfolio to the market integrating solutions such as solar energy, local storage, and electric mobility and energy management systems.
Should utilities fail to adapt to market changes, other opportunistic companies will take advantage of the gaps in the market.
What are you top 3 predictions for the sector for 2017?
[quote] NM: For the majority of us, guessing the future is a difficult task, although the way we prepare and think about the future is the most important thing for us in order to be able to quickly adapt to market changes.
We believe local storage will have a sharp decrease in cost, allowing more customers to have access to their own storage solution at home, reducing their dependency on the grid. We believe the cost reduction for local storage can be achieved next year, with the several developments in storage technologies.
In 2017, electric vehicles will also become a more competitive alternative to traditional mobility. Several car manufactures will enlarge their portfolio and increase their electric vehicles autonomy which will attract more people to opt for electric vehicles.
Last but not least, the rise of the smart homes associated with Internet of Things is going to transform our homes and the way we live. Companies are now focusing on having to connect more and more intelligent products within their ecosystem. One segment that is going to increase is connected energy management systems.