Citizens are essential partners in successful smart energy and smart city programs. Proactive education is crucial to overcoming barriers to the acceptance of grid modernization and driving engagement in smart city initiatives.
As the leader in the smart energy industry with more than 24 million Silver Spring-enabled devices deployed to date, Silver Spring has worked with the leading utility organizations around the world and developed award-winning citizen engagement programs and solutions. We developed the first smart energy curriculum for teenagers, created a parent blogging platform, and forged close partnerships with influencers including environmental organizations and community and religious leaders. These campaigns help our utility customers educate a diverse group of audiences on the importance of energy efficiency, the benefits of smart energy and how it will meaningfully impact their lives. Our dynamic communications toolkit adds value and minimizes potential negative impact by providing tested materials and recommendations to support a comprehensive smart energy communications plan. The toolkit also provides consistent messaging that can be customized for each service territory.
Our CustomerIQ application has helped millions of consumers better understand their electric and gas consumption through a web-based and mobile-optimized customer portal that provides insights, recommendations, and bill projections to empower consumers to control when and how they use energy. CustomerIQ has also been deployed in conjunction with several partner load disaggregation applications, providing utility customers with appliance-level energy insights to enable them to manage energy spending.
Smart Energy Curriculum
To fill the knowledge gap on energy and the smart grid, we developed our Smart Energy Future curriculum, an innovative program designed to educate teachers, students and their families on how the smart grid addresses our energy challenges. The curriculum features lessons on energy concepts, interactive assignments and community-facing projects designed to encourage high school students to learn about the benefits of the smart grid and engage them in career exploration activities relating to the energy industry.
Faith-based outreach provides a powerful avenue for educating those in the pulpit and pews on a variety of important issues, including energy stewardship and the environment. We engage directly with religious leaders, who are powerful communicators and whose influence and respect can be harnessed to educate their congregations about environmental stewardship and how the smart grid can address our energy challenges. We also created a toolkit for religious leaders in conjunction with the National Council of Churches and Creation Justice Ministries called Energy Stewardship: Using Smart Grids and Emerging Technologies for Protecting God’s Creation.
Power Over Energy, a campaign conceived and founded by Silver Spring Networks, is an energy literacy initiative focused on educating, empowering and motivating consumers to make smarter decisions about the way we all use electricity. Launched by a diverse coalition of supporters including the US Department of Energy; Edison Foundation’s Institute of Innovation, Electricity, Efficiency; Environmental Defense Fund; Global Green; GridWise Alliance; Silicon Valley Leadership Group; Silver Spring Networks; Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative and Sustainable Silicon Valley, the campaign was launched in early 2013 to test consumer interest in learning more about energy.
Power Over Energy combines energy curricula focused in the areas of generation, consumption, transmission, impact and conservation, with online ads, social media and interactive tools to help consumers understand more about how energy is produced and the impact that consumer energy choices have on the environment. Since February 2013, the results indicate strong consumer interest in learning more about energy with over 450,000 Facebook likes, high engagement and a global reach of over 96 million consumers.
No matter how good our deeds are, a collective effort always has more impact. That’s why we unveiled a set of programs that guides our actions today and into the future. Called the Silver Spring Foundation, it is another way we reflect our values and our social commitment.
Community Grants – This program creates unique opportunities for Silver Spring to engage with our customers, partners and employees to work together towards common goals and with a sense of shared values.
Outreach – This program raises awareness of clean energy in developing areas of the world, improving health through integrated renewable energy and reduced dependency on fossil fuels.
Green – This program is focused on continuing to improve our work and local environment. From recycling and composting in every break room to ensuring we have fewer disposable items in our kitchens. Larger projects will include green certifying our business and developing measures of our success in reducing our carbon footprint.
Community – This program looks to engage employees in scientifically and economically sound activities and programs that work to enhance the global communities in which we live, work, and do business.