*This is an excerpt of the interview Parks Associates had with Martha Amram about the trends in residential energy management.
Martha Amram, Founder & CEO of WattzOn and Green Button Alliance, answers several key industry questions prior to speaking at the 2016 Smart Energy Summit, taking place February 22-24, 2016 in Austin:
What do you think is the most challenging issue for your company as it relates to the residential energy management market?
2016 promises to be a year of substance in residential energy management. Solar, connected home and other companies like WattzOn have been building our assets and technologies for years. We have the solutions to deliver very clear and compelling offerings for consumers.
But there are frictions, including the choppy economic climate, very low oil prices and tough road ahead for the utility business model. The winners in 2016 will be companies with a sustainable business model and high value proposition for consumers.
WattzOn is very much focused on delivering high value -- with key software tools that capture residential utility data nationwide, and compelling value-add from personalized energy analytics that deepen customer engagement, accelerate sales and revenues. We're ready for 2016.
What are the major challenges that your business must address in 2016? In 2020?
In 2016 WattzOn is focused on delivering value for our business partners. The pieces are in place, it's time to execute well.
By 2020 we expect to see new, cost-effective ways to sell solar, lots of product add-ons such as storage, heat pumps, and EVs, and defined energy services in the connected home market. Consumers will know what a smart energy home is, and they will demand the same high level of digital experience they get elsewhere. WattzOn will be racing ahead, innovating with its business partners, to deliver this outcome.
Bottom line: Why should it be easier to buy a $1000 airline ticket than to get personal home energy insights? The cleantech ecosystem will make this shift by 2020.
What are the major barriers impacting consumer adoption of energy related products and services?
Recents surveys have shown that consumers spend 5- 7 minutes puzzling through their utility bills each month. The operative word is "puzzle"! So the biggest barrier to consumer adoption for energy-related products and services is their novelty.
It will take multiple touchpoints to present the new product concepts. It will take high-quality software development to deliver the engaging digital experience. It will take tangible benefits to tip the market. The pace of innovation in our ecosystem is up to the challenge and ready-to-go. Time to execute!