With dramatic changes taking place in energy markets, retail energy suppliers must drive new technology and innovation to develop new lines of business that can better meet evolving customer needs, said Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC).
In a keynote address at the 26th Retail Energy Executive Forum, Constellation CEO Joseph Nigro said that companies need to identify new technologies and opportunities that are about to emerge and capitalize on them, rather than reacting to them.
“The old way of doing business won’t work in this new environment,” Nigro said. “By embracing and leveraging technology, our industry can effectively improve reliability, transition to clean energy, and lay the groundwork for a truly modern, integrated grid, with a renewed focus on our customers.”
New opportunities to deliver customer value include distributed generation and smart technologies, Nigro said. He noted Constellation’s commitment to expanding its distributed energy customer offerings, including solar, battery storage, combined heat and power, fuel cells, and more. In addition, smart meters, smart thermostats and smart appliances are changing the way Constellation’s customers think about and use energy.
“All of us will continue to advocate for competitive markets and the benefits of energy choice for consumers,” Nigro said. “Yet at the same time, Constellation also is finding ways to create and enhance customer value in addition to competitive retail sales, such as distributed generation, energy efficiency solutions, compressed natural gas stations, and home services.”
Nigro also noted that Constellation is looking at new developments in the energy sector through its Constellation Technology Ventures group, which invests in growth-stage energy technology companies that can provide new solutions to Constellation and its customers.
“In the past, the energy industry often looked at new technologies as ‘disruptive.’ But to embrace innovation, we must look at these technologies as ‘enabling,’” Nigro said. “Our goal is to work with emerging businesses, not against them.”