Framing of customer engagement opportunities and renewable energy integration by electric utility representatives

Jennie C. Stephens, Daniel J. Kopin, Elizabeth J. Wilson, Tarla Rai Peterson

Jun. 30, 2017

This research looks at the discourse of 14 utility companies in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Texas, and Vermont around the growing use of renewable energy, particularly as customers can increasingly generate and store their own energy. The authors conclude that a utility company’s location, and its corresponding social, political, and economic factors, determine how utilities handle the shift towards renewables and grid independence. The biggest divergence in attitudes towards renewable energy was between utilities in Texas and Vermont, the latter being much more interested in expanding their distribution of renewable energy. However given the limited sample, the authors warn against using these results to generalize.

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