Virtual Assistants: The next generation of energy management

Businesses know it is important to manage their energy performance, whether it is measured by cost, efficiency, or carbon impact. But the work needed to be successful increases exponentially. Businesses and their energy teams are eager for new ways to streamline their operations, while staying on top of complex data streams.

Too much information, too little action

The monthly energy bill is often the only “moment of truth” on energy performance and cost. The bill is a regular checkpoint in the energy management workflow: consuming energy, monitoring it, paying for it, and adjusting future usage. Not long ago, it was a simple but useful tool in this workflow. However, as the energy industry grew more sophisticated, the bill became more complex too.

In the 1990s, an energy bill might have had five main data points. It was clear and understandable: how much energy you used and how much you paid. By 2010, the number of data points quadrupled to 20 numbers, including more detailed breakdowns, time series data, and benchmarks.

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Today’s bills show well over 50 data points, and each smart meter swamps customers with an estimated 400 MB of data each year [1] – the equivalent of 8,000 emails. There is so much data and yet so little insight into how to improve their operations because it is so difficult to integrate them into the energy management workflow. As a result, Accenture estimates that utilities overcharge their customers by more than $20 billion per year! [2]

Customers want help, not data

Energy management must be easy, be helpful, and be respectful of the customer’s time. Customers use software or hire consultants because they need answers now. They want to know to the answer to: “Why is my bill so high?” or “Please send me a budget for my north American sites”, and then return their focus on other important things. Many questions should be answered before customers even ask them: “Your latest bill shows high usage in your downtown site, the meter data suggests that equipment was left running past normal operating hours.”

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The technology which powers this type of analysis and customer experience already exists in other industries: banking, travel and retail to name just three. Have you ever asked your mobile device for the quickest way to Tulsa? Or for the latest score in a baseball game? Have you received an email that a bill payment is coming up? Precisely because of how other industries have embraced technology to deliver better customer experiences, the same delights are now expected by energy customers.

Our Vision

pear.ai envisions a future when virtual assistants will fundamentally change how businesses will handle the many routine business workflows that are neglected due to lack of time and resources. Virtual assistants that act fully in the customer’s best interest will be treated as trusted team members of the businesses they support.

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pear.ai is developing a virtual assistant for energy management workflows. We are revolutionizing the way businesses manage their utilities, by combining the latest machine learning technologies and advanced user experiences with deep energy expertise. To learn more, please visit us as www.pear.ai.


[1] https://www.marsdd.com/news-and-insights/the-evolving-digital-utility/

[2] https://www.accenture.com/t20150523T024838__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/Accenture/Conversion-Assets/DotCom/Documents/Global/PDF/Dualpub_2/Accenture-Procurement-Operations-Regulated-Utility-Rates-v2.pdf