Utilities, power companies, and technology vendors flock to DistribuTECH for its reputation as a leading venue for showcasing the major technologies and trends in the electricity industry. Thought leaders from around the world arrived in San Antonio, TX, this January to share knowledge, demo technology, and connect with each other.

“Connections” were a common theme this year, too. At the Internet of Things / Smart Cities track, representatives of utilities and consulting firms discussed the role utilities will play at the center of the “smart city” revolution, providing the electric and communications infrastructure that makes so much connectivity and interoperability of devices possible.

Developing customer-focused technologies and strategies was another major topic this year. With the increased availability of renewables and home energy storage solutions, customers are beginning to expect more from their energy providers. Utilities must connect with their customers to understand their needs and develop new services.

The electricity industry has been slow to adopt social media as a primary method of communicating with customers, but that is rapidly changing. Some utilities have been using social media to alert customers of outages for some time, and several of those success stories were shared at DistribuTECH. However, utilities are beginning to realize more frequent engagement with their customers can also improve attitudes about customer service.

It wasn’t just utilities that were struck by the rising value of social media. PSC CEO Alex Boyd thinks leveraging social media will help consulting firms improve their services, as well.

“As an engineering services firm, connecting to our customers at a personal level is critical to PSC. Our business relies on sharing stories, understanding our clients’ points of pain, and having the knowledge and experience to offer a winning solution,” said Alex.

“We are all familiar with the benefits of social media in our personal lives. After hearing several stories at DistribuTECH about the ways social media is benefitting utilities and their customers, it’s clear that the electricity industry is no exception. Our clients are online and they are using the same platforms as everyone else. It’s up to us to find more effective ways to engage our audience and deliver solutions using these platforms and that is an exciting takeaway from this year’s event.”

PSC will be at DistribuTECH 2019 in New Orleans, LA, February 5-7, 2019.