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"The utility should educate the consumer and tell the consumer what they can be doing and what the utility is doing to remedy the issue and conserve energy."

— L.S.T., Topsfield, MA

To the Point's principals have been innovators our entire careers. We have experience introducing the personal computer, the Internet, the digital home, new media forms, and many other disruptive technologies, solutions, and viral marketing techniques. We've learned that when trying something that has not been done before, creative solutions require imagination and prototyping. Then once you've received feedback from customers, it's easier to align organizations when there is a clear plan and framework.


 

As smart energy content experts who have been members of virtual creative agencies for many years, To the Point is exceptionally well-positioned to collaborate with in-house communication, community affairs, customer service, and smart grid technical teams; as well as outside creative agencies and PR firms.  We amplify everyone's strengths, provide connective tissue that weaves it all together, and fill in the gaps.  Our strong relationships with regulators, consumer advocates, expert consultants, and utility thought leaders allow us to anticipate and address the complex energy ecosystem.

 

Prototyping Community Engagement

If there is a single lesson that can be drawn from the most successful deployments and pilots, it is that when utilities collaborate with stakeholders and the communities they serve, everyone wins.

 

The Worcester Community Summit provided an amazing opportunity to apply human-centered design principles to an initiative that links sustainability with economic viability.  Smart grid became a means to enable the community's goals rather than promotion of a technology solution.

 

IEEE Community Summit Program

The IEEE Power and Energy Society wanted to build on lessons learned from the Worcester experience.  IEEE and TTP collaborated with Dr. David Cooperrider to demonstrate how this approach could advance sustainable energy practices and technology adoption. To learn more about "constructive engagement," visit the toolkit we created for the initiative.


 

Energy Literacy Workshop for Community-Based Organizations

In May 2012, TTP prototyped a one-day workshop on behalf of SMPPI, the non-profit that managed the PowerCentsDC pilot in Washington, D.C. Over 40 people, representing 20 different organizations, shared ideas and discussed how dynamic pricing, smart grid, and renewables can be relevant topics for consituents of CBOs ranging from national groups like AARP and the Sierra Club to small local faith-based and family support organizations.  An online toolkit including presentations, images to be used in collateral, and video productions was also developed for the attendees.  This type of event can be used as a standalone effort or as part of a larger, summit initiative.

 


To the Points contributions may include:

  • strategic advice to execs and project manager
  • align community goals with program design for pilots and deployment
  • participate as a member of the steering committee
  • support outreach to community-based organizations and advocacy groups
  • act as creative director for outside agencies
  • create media, web, collateral content
  • facilitate and moderate innovation panels
  • advise post-summit prototyping teams

 

 

The contributions of many people go into making events of varied scales successful.

Collaboration In Action

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David Cooperrider's Appreciative Inquiry methodology is truly magical.  It is amazing to see what hundreds of people can accomplish together in just a few days.  The process sets the stage for continued community collaboration beyond the summit event itself.

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The Steering Committee brings together civic leaders, representatives from community-based organizations (CBOs), utility employees, and other stakeholders.