Stories from the Front Lines of the Utility Covid-19 Pandemic Response
Building a Remote Workforce • Sustaining the Grid • Uplifting a Community
May 27, 2020
At the time of writing this, COVID-19 has had wide-spread effects on our communities, nation, and the world. Our thoughts go out to every person who has had a family member, or friend impacted by this pandemic. The extended Neudesic team has supported clients, partners, and their communities during this time. We’d love to know if and how we can support you too.
Mike Rossi- Director, Neudesic
COVID-19 is the stress test of a lifetime. It’s pressed on every facet of life as we know it- public health, hospital care, education, jobs, food supply chains, restaurants, retail, and even utilities. Every corner of our world felt the heat! I caught up with two of Neudesic’s clients, Joyce LePage of DTE Energy and Matt Green of PPL Utilities, both industry experts, from their homes- in quarantine- to get their perspective on their utility’s response to COVID-19.
While the media covered the clear devastation on many aspects on our lives, the effort to continually provision vital services like electricity, gas, and water was seemingly overlooked. Energy and utility companies faced the same “unprecedented times,” yet needed to quickly transform themselves to enable a never-before-seen remote workforce capability and sustain a fast-changing demand on the grid- all while supporting the health and safety of their employees and community.
“Safety as outlined is always first. DTE has been pretty aggressive in making sure our employees and their families stay safe,” commented Joyce LePage, DTE Energy. “We started our pandemic response on the ninth of March. Two weeks later we sent everyone home and cleared the buildings.”
Neudesic’s team of energy and utility experts had already spent over a year helping each of these organizations along their path of digital transformation. “From deploying cloud infrastructure, to modern data platforms with powerful unified ML and AI capabilities with Databricks, to application development and mobile device management- a lot of progress had already paved the way for these organizations to continue on with highly scalable and collaborative cloud platform-as-a-service solutions.” – Michael Brown, VP, Energy & Utilities, Neudesic.
But I wanted to know from each of them, exactly how they went about designing and executing their pandemic response plans, how technology was enabling their effort, and what impacts they were seeing (short and medium term) on their grid, their communities, and their business.
“We’ve seen double digit decreases in our commercial business. On the residential side, we’ve seen a general increase and a shift in our load profiles. Everyday kind of looks the same for a residential customer these days,” said Matt Green, VP and CIO of PPL Utilities. “We had to quickly learn and forecast these new load shapes to ensure consistent delivery of services.”
View our interview ON DEMAND for a deeper look into how they did it, how they’re doing now, and what if anything for their industry will be forever changed.