By B.N. Frank
Artificial Intelligence technology (A.I.) is getting a bad rap for a lot of good reasons. It can be used to create misleading information (see 1, 2, 3), for discriminatory purposes (see 1, 2), as well as other bizarre, privacy invasive, and shameful applications (see 1, 2).
Utility “Smart” Meters – electric, gas, and water – have been associated with all kinds of horrible problems including HIGHER bills, fires (see 1, 2, 3), explosions, and more. “Smart” Meters are 2-way wireless transmitting, whereas original analog meters are only 1-way transmitting. The 2-way transmitting feature allows utilities to remotely turn off services and ration customer usage with these meters. It also allows them to collect minute-by-minute customer usage data which they can analyze in order to market more products and services to customers as well as sell to 3rd parties (see 1, 2). Seriously!
How Utilities Can Use Data And AI To Turn Every Interaction Into A Marketing Opportunity
Forbes Councils Member
- Gautam Aggarwal, CMO of Bidgely, evolving energy analytics for utilities with the power of data and artificial intelligence.
Personalization, automation and digitalization have redefined the fundamentals of business across nearly every industry, yet as Deloitte explains, the utility industry is transforming on a great scale. Utilities are investing in information technology (IT) to not just accommodate evolving customer needs and expectations but also improve operational workflows throughout the organization, including in marketing.
Advanced IT solutions in the utility industry aim to reduce redundancies and unify technology systems. But in order to justify the increase in spending on vertically-aligned cloud software, utility leaders should maximize ROI by optimizing and extending their existing IT stack to ensure it enhances efficiency utility-wide rather than in siloed units.
As the CMO of a company that offers AI-powered solutions for utilities, I’ve found that one of the simplest ways for utility CMOs to expand the efficiency of IT resources is by working with a CRM partner to integrate existing customer data and energy insights into a singular platform. Between smart meters and analog meters, utilities often collect an enormous amount of customer data that can be extremely valuable to utility marketers for segmenting, targeting and engaging with different audiences. The next step is to use this data to enhance marketing automation and break down the silos between departments to transform other departments into active marketers.
At the most basic level, utility marketing programs use customer data like geographic location to support program-driven initiatives all the time. More sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI)-powered customer insights can further identify lifestyle preferences, energy consumption patterns, appliance usage and even purchasing power, enabling utilities to hyper-target communications and provide relevant, meaningful content.
For example, a utility could isolate which households own electric vehicles (EV), then target them with personalized marketing campaigns and programs. Marketers can also cater to these customers’ propensity for electrification by offering rebates on electric appliances.
By targeting individual groups to address a specific need, utilities can build trust and loyalty with customers.
Creeped out yet?
Do you now understand why utility companies continue to promote “Smart” Meters as being beneficial to customers despite all of their issues (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)? Adding insult to injury, American utility companies received billions of federal stimulus dollars to install them. They also often increase customer rates for installation and replacement as well.
Last but certainly not least, because “Smart” Meters are 2-way wireless transmitting, they create high levels of harmful electromagnetic radiation (see 1, 2, 3, 4). This has led to numerous reports (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) and LAWSUITS (see 1, 2) because of health issues experienced after these meters were installed. Many utilities now allow customers to “opt out” because of all the complaints. In fact,
- Duke Energy customers in North Carolina do NOT have to pay opt-out fees when they provide medical statements confirming that “Smart” Meters will make them sick.
- A judge has allowed a discrimination case to proceed against a Maine utility that won’t waive fees for a customer with cancer.
- A California utility has refunded ALL opt-out fees to one of its disabled customers.
Opposition to “Smart” Meters is worldwide. A documentary about these awful devices is free to watch online.
Activist Post reports regularly about “Smart” Meters and other unsafe technology. For more information, visit our archives and the following websites:
- Coalition to Stop Smart Meters
- EMF Safety Network
- Smart Meter Harm
- Smart Grid Awareness
- Smart Meter News
- Smart Meter Education Network
- Take Back Your Power
- The People’s Initiative
- Wireless Information Network
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