CHARGE meets Oleg Slyusarchuk, Head of Product Design at Eleks

As we approach CHARGE North America (18-19 May), we’ve been asking our top speakers and partners to reveal their approach to branding in energy. In this article, we speak with Oleg Slyusarchuk, Head of Product Design, Eleks

  1. Eleks are running a workshop at CHARGE, what do you want to achieve from ‘Energizing Engagement: Strategies for Active Customer Participation in the Grid Modernization?’

We know something about power grids – Dakar is an ELEKS-founded product spin-off, a real-time power system management tool for modeling, analysis, planning, and optimization of modern electrical networks. Dakar helped to keep the electric power system of Ukraine running under constant missile attacks, by modeling the optimal plan to power critical infrastructure and striking a balance between reduced power generation and current consumption to create a schedule for emergency shutdowns. 

But these were reactive actions – proactively, the country needs to reimagine its power grid and make it more resilient. This task is relevant not only for the countries at war – the impact of natural disasters or cyberattacks on the grid are all real threats. Decentralization of power grids, diversification of the energy mix, implementation of smart grid technology, and increasing redundancy are some of the methods of how we can make it work. This will require collaboration between local governments, corporations, as well as end users. During the workshop, we want to raise awareness among energy industry stakeholders about grid modernization and talk about ways to engage customers to participate.

We will share the best practices and case studies from energy companies and other organizations that have successfully implemented customer engagement strategies and identify emerging trends and technologies that are driving customer participation.

  1. What can attendees expect to achieve from attending ‘Energizing Engagement: Strategies for Active Customer Participation in the Grid Modernization?’ 

The workshop will explore ways to engage end customers in becoming active participants in shaping a modern grid to improve its efficiency, reliability, and sustainability. Through interactive discussions and hands-on exercises, participants will learn about strategies that can empower individuals to take an active role in the energy system and gain a deeper understanding of the smart grid as well as the benefits of engaging customers as co-creators of the modern grid.

During the workshop, we will cover the following areas:

  • Education and awareness
  • Incentives, gamification, and social norms
  • Feedback and communication
  • Collaborative decision making

The workshop is designed for utility and EV companies, NGOs, government organizations, industry experts, and anyone interested in the topic of smart grids and their impact on the energy sector. It is aimed at Communication and Marketing professionals, Chief Innovation Officers, Directors/Heads of Product, etc. 

  1. What new developments in or outside of energy do you believe will be most influential in the transition to customer-centric energy ecosystems?

The rapid growth of electric vehicles (EVs) is expected to have a significant impact on the energy ecosystem, providing mobile energy storage options for customers to sell excess energy back to the grid or power their homes. Additionally, EVs offer new opportunities for utilities to provide charging infrastructure and support the growth of EVs by managing the grid.

The demand for renewable energy continues to increase, resulting in the growth of distributed energy resources like solar panels, wind turbines, and small-scale hydroelectric power plants. Falling costs and increased customer demand for renewable energy will enable customers to generate their own energy and sell the excess back to the grid, actively participating in the energy ecosystem.

Energy storage technologies, such as batteries and pumped hydro storage, are becoming increasingly important in the transition to customer-centric energy ecosystems. Energy storage can balance the grid and provide backup power during outages while enabling customers to store energy generated from their own distributed energy resources and use it when needed.

Digitalization and data analytics will play a vital role in the integration of distributed energy resources and energy storage into the grid, providing customers with real-time information about their energy usage and costs. This can help customers to make informed decisions about their energy use and enable utilities to manage the grid and respond to changes in supply and demand effectively.

  1. In your opinion, what innovations will have the biggest impact on the power sector in the next 30 years?

The power sector is expected to experience substantial transformations in the next three decades driven by a series of innovations. Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies will play a vital role in the power sector, helping utilities predict demand, manage the grid, and optimize energy generation and distribution. In addition, the Internet of Things will be pivotal in offering real-time data on energy usage, equipment performance, and customer preferences, enabling utility companies to optimize the grid and provide more customized services to customers.

Smart grid technologies, featuring advanced sensors, communication networks, and analytics, will help utility companies monitor the grid, promptly detect and respond to outages, and better manage the integration of renewable energy sources.

Moreover, decentralization and microgrid development will result in the establishment of more adaptable and resilient power systems. These systems will be less prone to outages and disturbances while allowing communities to have more control over their energy consumption and production, which will lead to a more self-sufficient energy supply.

  1. What possibilities do changing consumer preferences provide to energy companies and what can they do?

The increasing consumer interest in renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, presents energy companies with an opportunity to respond by increasing their own use of renewable energy and offering renewable energy options to their customers. This can include community solar programs and green energy tariffs. Additionally, consumers are keen on generating their own energy using distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar panels and energy storage systems. Energy companies can meet this need by offering DER options and services, such as net metering and virtual power plants.

Energy efficiency is also an area of interest for consumers who want to reduce their energy usage and improve the efficiency of their homes and businesses. Energy companies can respond by offering energy efficiency programs and services, such as home energy audits, weatherization services, and energy-efficient appliances.

Participation in demand response programs is another area of interest for consumers who want to reduce their energy usage during times of high demand. Energy companies can offer demand response programs that provide financial incentives to customers for reducing their energy usage during peak times.

Lastly, consumers are increasingly interested in using digital tools to monitor and manage their energy usage. Energy companies can meet this demand by offering digital tools and services, such as mobile apps and smart home devices, that enable customers to monitor and manage their energy usage in real time.

Eleks is an international software engineering and consultancy company that helps clients transform their businesses digitally, providing expert software engineering and consultancy services tailored to their specific needs. We deliver high-tech innovative solutions for major Fortune 500 corporations, helping them elevate their value and embrace new technologies to stay ahead in the modern world. By utilizing our technical expertise, we can both help startups prepare for market launch and encourage larger businesses to test out their boldest ideas, with a product design service that strives to bring each client’s vision to life. Our services help clients to deliver their products to market up to 80% faster while ensuring up to 20% savings on development costs.  

We provide software engineering and consultancy services for clients in a diverse range of industries, including Education, Entertainment, Energy, Finance, Healthcare, Government, Insurance, and Logistics. With a track record of over 700 end-to-end projects delivered at a 96% satisfaction rate, we are the partner of choice for many of the world’s leading enterprises, SMEs, and technology challengers. Eleks has achieved and maintained startling growth – we now have 18 offices spanning 10 countries and employ over 2 200 staff globally.

Oleg Slyusarchuk | LinkedIn