Rapid changes in consumer, business and industrial products and technologies, the proliferation of sensors and digital footprints and sophisticated data analytics are driving transformational shifts in many sectors. The energy sector has responded to this change with more energy efficient appliances, digital retail innovations and progressive smart grid investments, but this is modest relative to many others.

Key constraints to consumer interest in smarter energy solutions include the potential added complexity and inconvenience in their lives. Additionally, the challenge for an industry with little understanding of their audience is to communicate effectively with their consumers, which is key to driving changes in the consumption of electricity.

The buzz from the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) suggests this is about to change.

“This year’s Consumer Electronics Show is the craziest yet as the falling cost of sensors means the internet of things is finally a reality…”


The promised maturity of voice artificial intelligence (AI), combined with analytics over our digital footprints, means that highly personalised consumer dialogues are imminent, enabling effortless automated response by consumers.  Investment in the building blocks of energy storage, connected devices and electric vehicles is taking off; Bloomberg’s Clean Energy Smart Tech index shows 2016 spend growing 30% after several stagnant years.  

The challenge now will be for industry to fuse these virtual and physical trends in to convenient, intelligent solutions appealing to the personal, environmental and social drivers of consumers – creating and sharing value with consumers.

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