What was on the energy agenda at European Utility Week 2015?

It’s a wonder we managed to find time to venture off stand to take in the buzz of the two exhibition halls – along with fitting in some networking, meeting and greeting and checking out the latest innovations. Here’s our summary of a great few days.

Consumer engagement for energy is moving up the agenda across Europe

Until recently, consumer engagement for energy was confined to markets and countries with a regulatory obligation, such as the UK. This year, however, we saw interest from a much broader set of energy suppliers in multiple markets, and also from their supply chains – meter manufacturers, system integrators, and energy distribution network operators.

The innovations that succeed are the ones that don’t require users to do things differently

Whereas systems in the past expected us to learn how to use their particular user interface, intricacies and features, now instead we’re demanding simplicity and consistency from any new system in our home. This is down to the increasing presence of technology in every area of our busy lives.

Innovations that succeed will need to be intuitive, useful and anticipate consumers’ needs without requiring a change in behaviour.

Technologies are converging

Previous years have seen the emergence of ‘category players’ in areas such as smart thermostats, energy displays, solar PV etc. Increasingly, consumers are demanding products that work together and make it simple to achieve an energy-efficient home. In response to this, providers will have to create integrated solutions that combine data on energy usage, costs, individual needs and predicted usage to help consumers optimise their home energy use.

European Utility Week felt smaller

European Utility Week has combined with several complementary events in recent years. That said, the event felt smaller this year, with some key players not present and a general feeling that the industry is maturing.

Conversations were better!

At the same time, fewer visitors meant more worthwhile, in-depth discussions – no bad thing! Those that did visit had a real interest in consumer engagement for energy, leading to a some really useful, not to mention meaningful, conversations. Perhaps bigger isn’t always better…

geo mascot – meet Streaky

For those who visited either of our stands in Vienna, you will have seen our piggy bank giveaway, affectionately known as ‘Streaky’.

Our glamourous, four-legged assistant was helping us showcase our new Trio II energy monitoring device – in which Streaky the piggy bank features in the Trio II’s digital display.

Streaky proved to be very popular around European Utility Week, with many attendees visiting our stand to take away their very own piggy bank – even the dog from the Nest stand came by to say “hi” and have his photo taken with Streaky!

Did you visit our stand and take away one of our piggy banks? If you did, we’d love to see how far the piggies have travelled and would be delighted to receive pictures of Streaky in his new home. Send your photos through to our Marketing Manager, Vicky Jones. Or why not tweet us your pictures instead?

In summary, the beautiful city of Vienna, autumnal weather with a wintery chill in the air, piggy banks, dogs on exhibition stands, Viennese schnitzel, along with exciting talk of innovation and convergence all remain as distinct memories from a very busy and successful three days at European Utility Week. We’re now looking forward to seeing what next year’s event in Barcelona will bring.