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Top-Tier Utility Customer Engagement Innovation: Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative and SEDC

For years SEDC has been enabling better engagement between utilities and their end-use customers. Whether by smartphone or tablet/PC, the number of customers who have free and secure access to their real-time electric usage and account details makes up a population bigger than the city of Chicago.

 

To provide further functionality to this sprawling user base, SEDC had been wrapping up development on new Mobile App features that support consumers who own electric vehicles and/or solar panels. Although this technology was already scheduled for completion and an ordinary rollout within the next few weeks, it was in response to the pressing need of one of SEDC’s valued member utilities that the new App features debuted early, to spectacular praise.

 

Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative, an 8,000-member strong co-op whose applications stem primarily from SEDC technology, was planning to attend a December 9th, 2019 Washington D.C. energy innovation showcase sponsored by the oldest standing legislative committee in the U.S. House of Representatives–the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

 

After registering his co-op for the event, John Metcalf, CEO of Mid-Ohio EC, found out that his co-op would be the only “distribution-only” electric utility at the event of innovators.  As a result, he was less interested in simply including the long-standing (but very cool) Mobile App functionality SEDC already provided in its Mobile App.

 

The co-op mentioned to SEDC that it would love to be able to also include the planned new functionality. This functionality supports key needs for what is known as Net Metering. Instead of your electric meter only charging you to pay for electricity, Net Metering adds support for the reverse flow of power—it enables the customer of a utility to sell power back onto the grid, whether from energy storage such as an electric vehicle, or from distributed generation, such as a rooftop solar panel.

 

Mike Merkley, a Software Design Analyst at SEDC, got the call about Mid-Ohio Energy Cooperative’s short timeline for the requested additions, and was stoked.

 

Looking back at how he felt then he says, “I absolutely thrive on deadlines, and any opportunity to surprise the utilities we work with.”

 

Mike and SEDC were able to meet Mid-Ohio EC’s request, completing the new Mobile App features weeks in advance of its originally scheduled delivery date.

 

John Metcalf was delighted that SEDC was able to go the extra mile and complete its planned addition the week prior to the conference. Metcalf included the Net Metering functionality for its Mobile App in what it showed at the showcase event and received heavy praise.

 

Metcalf proudly remarked, “It was apparent at this showcase that our technology capabilities turned out to have one up on other industries and governmental departments.”  The event, by the way, was attended by the largest electric utility in the USA, Duke Energy, along with other big IOUs and their subsidiaries, including DTE Energy, TECO, among others.

 

In this instance, SEDC not only put its member utility’s immediate needs before its own plans, it also did so while proving to the industry at large that its solutions are of the highest quality and competitive with the big organizations dominating the energy sector today, once again proving that Service, Excellence, Dedication, and Collaboration, SEDC’s four core values, aren’t just buzzwords. They’re the real code of conduct we operate by, and some of the best reasons you’ll ever hear to partner with us for your utility technology.

 

For additional details, also see SEDC’s new case study on Mid-Ohio EC’s use of the new SEDC Mobile App, Innovative Utility Wows Washington, D.C. Conference Congressional Attendees.