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How do we continue to support our network of contractors and business partners and the green energy workforce as a whole as we continue to navigate the economic impacts of the pandemic?

Tilak Subrahmanian's picture
Vice President Eversource

As Vice President for Eversource, Tilak Subrahmanian leads a team that is focused on scaling energy efficiency, peak demand management, storage and electric vehicles to develop the clean energy...

  • Member since 2020
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  • Feb 3, 2021 1:15 pm GMT
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As I outlined in my recent post about 2021 predictions & trends, I'm asking my team at Eversource to look into how we can support our existing network of businesses and green energy workers to best help amid the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic fallout. What have you done at your organizations to help support your business partners, contractors, and the like in the past year and moving forward? 

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challenging question:

power flows are different, as more people work from home, so work on the distribution grid will not let up.

Offer training, and maybe new products like smart meter and residential PV; so your workforce will need training in technical skills and communication.

Also, how can you improve automated meter reading, and work on customer communication to help customers reduce energy consumption -

Business development can develop energy savings products, e.g. smart heating, advice, and products in home insulation and shading (hook up with nurseries for people to buy trees for shading and wind cover), Use the slow time for preparation of tools and equipment, cause storms still come in, and demand will pick up once vaccination rates go up

During these unprecedented times, it can be a challenge to keep employees, contractors, and business partners motivated, focused, and committed.  A few items to consider:

1. Establishing a cadence to remain in constant contact with employees and understand the unique challenges they may be experiencing.  This may lead to the need to make accommodations for individuals and organizations.  With many employees working remotely, using video conferencing may help, but this depends on each individuals' comfort level.

2. Being transparent and staying in contact with your contractors and business partners to level-set expectations and priorities.  This information helps your business partners to plan accordingly to meet both your needs and the industry's.

3. Local communities and small & diversified businesses are critical to ensuring that everyone emerges from the pandemic stronger than as it began.

4. Performing a holistic, thorough review and prioritization of technology innovation with the mindset of how a project will benefit the utility, employees, community, and customers.

I've been seeing an increase in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investments at both the product and utility level.  Everything from how AI/ML ensures employees are equipped with the appropriate tools to make efficient, more-informed decisions to how autonomous electric vehicles contribute to decarbonization to empowering customers to understand what tools and resources are available for customers to make an impact and support our societal goals.

Always open to discuss further, if needed.  Feel free to reach out at wthai@wtpartners.us .

I know that several utilities in the South have used  COVID-19 as an opportunity to promote additional training and outreach to contractors. These activities include offering online classes in BPI certification, or advanced specialized training. They provide these classes at little to no cost.

Program implementers have also developed new ways to conduct online audits or on-site audits of energy efficiency programs with advanced PPE protocols.

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