Dutch Utility Changes the Game by Showing Customers How to Buy Less Power

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享New York Times: When Eneco, a major Dutch utility, tested a promising energy monitor in several dozen homes, things could not have gone much worse. The company making the devices failed to deliver enough of them, and some of those provided did not work.But when Eneco sent workers to recover the monitors, something strange happened — a tenth of customers refused to open their doors. “They wanted to keep it,” said Tako in ’t Veld, a former Eneco executive who now leads the “smart energy” unit at Quby, the company that makes the energy meter. “They were so happy with the energy insight.”The test in 2010 was part of Eneco’s efforts to adapt to upheaval in the energy market. In recent years, large volumes of wind and solar-generated electricity have undermined the economics of traditional power plants and provided the outlines of a future in which conventional power plants no longer supply the bulk of a home’s electricity.Through acquisitions (including of Quby), by nurturing a cluster of start-ups and with other initiatives, Eneco has sought to provide new services to customers — and, in doing so, to enter new sectors, like the charging of electric vehicles and the repair of solar panels. “We said ‘we have to create an increasing customer loyalty by doing something different,’” said Hans Valk, chief executive of Quby and formerly the leader of Eneco’s consumer business. “What we are trying to do is switch from selling a pure commodity to selling energy as a service.”For instance, Eneco owns Jedlix, an electric vehicle charging unit, which has partnerships with Tesla and BMW and allows car owners to recharge their vehicles inexpensively when there are large supplies of renewable energy on the grid. Jedlix sometimes even pays them to do so.Eneco is also starting a business called CrowdNett which, unusually, pays customers for some of their power. Eneco looks for people who already have solar panels at home and tries to sell them a large home battery, like a Tesla Powerwall. Surplus power generated by the solar panels is stored in the battery and Eneco taps into a portion of that storage to help balance the electricity grid. Customers will receive 450 euros, or $530, a year for allowing use of their batteries.Eneco’s leaders concede that they are proceeding more by trial and error than following a grand plan. Still, these efforts may, over time, aid the company’s survival and contribute to creating ways to help consumers shift to cleaner energy.“They are very forward-looking in terms of strategy and mind-set,” said Roberta Bigliani, a vice president at IDC, a market research firm. If Eneco’s experiments flop, though, “they definitely will not be in operation in the future,” she said.So far, the experiment with its wall-mounted energy monitor, known as Toon, has been among its more successful.When Eneco first considered the test, the utility was locked in a profit-zapping battle with competitors, cutting prices for electric power and natural gas while giving customers gifts for signing up. Seeing the danger signs, Eneco’s management decided that a radical change was necessary.The Toon offered Eneco an opportunity to shift course and, despite early teething problems, Eneco expanded the rollout. The meters allow customers to control their domestic heating settings through a smartphone app, and they have displays that show electricity and natural gas consumption in detail, along with other information like weather forecasts.Full Story:  Dutch Utility Bets Its Future on an Unusual Strategy: Selling Less Power Dutch Utility Changes the Game by Showing Customers How to Buy Less Powerlast_img read more

ICC World Cup South Africa vs West Indies, ICC World Cup 2019 highlights: Match abandoned due to rain, both teams get one point each

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Live cricket score and updates, South Africa vs West Indies, Southampton: West Indies chose to bowl in overcast conditions at the Rose Bowl in Southampton and they started off in grand style. South Africa lost Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram cheaply but Quinton de Kock and Faf du Plessis held firm for the Proteas. However, persistent rain and drizzle ensured that the game could not continue. The rain stopped for some time and there was time for an inspection but the rain returned and the game was abandoned. Both teams get one point each. (SCORECARD)20:53 hrs IST: The match has been abandoned. South Africa’s woes deepen while the West Indies get one more point.20:42 hrs IST: The rain has stopped and the super soppers are back to clear the field. 20:55 hrs IST will be another inspection. One hopes that a 20-over game is possible.20:24 hrs IST: The rain has returned and it is not a drizzle. It is heavy and the covers are coming back on. Remember, the cut-off time for a Twenty20 game is 21:30 hrs IST, which is an hour away. If the rain does not stop in the next 20-30 minutes, we might see the second abandonment of the World Cup.20:16 hrs IST: It is again getting dark. The light is a slight issue. The hover cover is still on the pitch while the rest of the covers have been removed.19:57 hrs IST: The covers are slowly getting peeled off. The umpires have gone back in. Looks like the match resumption might not be too far off.19:33 hrs IST: There was supposed to be an inspection at 19:45 hrs IST but the drizzle has apparently returned. It looks like the inspection might not take place.18:47 hrs IST: The rain has stopped and the groundsman are trying to drain the covers off the water. However, there is more rain predicted. One hopes that the ground is ready and we get some play.18:15 hrs IST: The rain had stopped but it is back. Steady drizzle and with hardly any wind, the rain looks like it has settled in Southampton.17:37 hrs IST: The cut-off time for a Twenty20 game is 17:00 hrs local, which is 21:30 hrs IST. Just under four hours remain, but the rain must stop completely.17:35 hrs IST: The intensity of rain has reduced but the drizzle persists. It must completely stop in order for play to continue. The ground staff will also be working incredibly hard to ensure the outfield is not damaged.17:15 hrs IST: It has been raining steadily for the last hour and it has gotten slightly brighter. However, the rain is continuing. We have started to lose overs, one feels.15:42 hrs IST: Uh oh, a steady drizzle has engulfed Southampton and the players are awalking off. After 7.3 overs, South Africa are 29/2.15:31 hrs IST: WICKET! Cottrell takes two. Markram plays a lazy shot. Short ball and on the hips, Markram looks to glance it and Shai Hope takes a fine tumbling catch to his left. After 6.1 overs, South Africa are 28/2 and in some trouble.15:26 hrs IST: FOUR! Now Quinton de Kock gets into the act and he slaps a short ball from Cottrell to the deep point fence for a boundary. After five overs, South Africa are 25/1. 15:21 hrs IST: Aiden Markram gets off the mark in style with a four straight down the ground. After four overs, South Africa are 17/1.15:15 hrs IST: WICKET! Hashim Amla has fallen cheaply. Short ball outside off, Cottrell slants it across and Amla flashes hard at it, the edge is swallowed by Chris Gayle who shows the ball to the crowd in celebration. South Africa are 11/1 after 2.5 overs. 15:08 hrs IST: DECISION OVERTURNED! Quinton de Kock is give out caught behind to Kemar Roach but he takes the review. The bat is nowhere near the ball and the decision is overturned.  South Africa are 3/0 in 1.1 overs.14:35 hrs IST: West Indies have chosen to bowl. It is overcast and there might be some assistance from the deck. Darren Bravo is in. No Andre Russell. For South Africa, Aiden Markram and Beuran Hendricks is in.14:26 hrs IST: Hello and a warm welcome to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 clash between South Africa and West Indies. For the Proteas, they are closing in on the do-or-die situation while the West Indies will be determined to prolong the pain of the South Africans. last_img read more