Emerging Trends in the Energy Industry: Conferences and Trade Shows

In the rapidly evolving energy sector, conferences are a great way to learn about various aspects of the field, as well as network with colleagues and find new vendors and suppliers. They can help you discover emerging trends and new ideas, gain new tools and strategies, and learn from thought leaders – or even position yourself as one!

However, there are enough conferences to keep your calendar booked until next December. We’ve highlighted five that explore important emerging trends in energy – grid infrastructure, cyber security, artificial intelligence, smart homes and tough tech.

  • Association of Energy Service Professionals National Conference and Expo, “Bigger in Texas: Ideas, Solutions, Networking, Fun,” Jan. 21-24, San Antonio, Texas. This is an ideal conference for any employee working in demand-side management, energy efficiency, demand response and integrated demand-side management. Conference attendees will explore consumers adopting energy efficiency, how electric cars will impact infrastructure planning and developing customer-centric marketing. The conference also includes a utility-only roundtable on DSM; a variety of workshops, panel discussions and professional development – more than 50 – and networking – it’s estimated that 1,000 utility professionals will be attending the event.
  • DistribuTECH Conference and Exhibition, Feb. 5-7, New Orleans. Since this event is open to energy, water and sewer utility professionals, there’s a plethora of subjects to investigate, from blockchain and cyber security to smart grids and clean energy. Luke Williams, New York University Stern School of Business marketing professor, W.R. Berkley Innovation Labs founder and executive director and Frog Design fellow, will be the keynote speaker, talking about disruptive innovation and innovation strategy. Book early, because more than 500 companies will be exhibiting and more than 13,000 professionals will be in attendance. It will be a prime opportunity to network and explore synergetic services.
  • The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Power and Energy Society Innovative Smart Grid Technologies, “Ten Years of ISGT – Innovation for a Flexible and Resilient Grid,” Feb. 17-20 in Washington, D.C. As our aging infrastructure is transformed into smart grids and incorporates grid-edge technology, innovation is a must, and you’ll find it here. IEEE is where utility professionals, policy makers, scientists and technology innovators come together to discuss the emerging trends, the future of energy and what tomorrow’s smart grid will be. Seminars review transmission and distribution systems, monitoring and storage, and go to the grid edge with block chain and artificial intelligence.
  • SMART Energy Summit, “Engaging the Consumer,” Feb. 18-20, Austin, Texas. Leah Barton, Direct Energy home protection vice president and general manager; Aaron Berndt, Nest/Google Head of Central Region Energy Partnerships; and Erika Diamond, Energy Hub utility and market services vice president, will be the keynote speakers at a conference that will look at consumer energy usage, the future of smart home tech, electrical vehicles and renewable energy. Seminars include using analytics and apps to help customers become more efficient to the demands the growing electric vehicle market will place on the grid and how energy providers can move into the smart home marketplace.
  • MIT Energy Conference, “Tough Tech and the 2040 Grid,” April 4-5, Cambridge, Mass. Hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Energy Club, this student-led conference lets the energy innovators of tomorrow mix it up with industry leaders, policy makers, financiers and technology leaders. This conference examines the emerging trends and challenges that security and the environment will bring to the energy industry in the future and how they can be addressed through policy and technology. Two years ago, MIT received a $200 million grant to study “tough tech,” or innovations in hardware, so students and faculty should have some interesting insights in this field.

HomeServe participates in a number of conferences every year. If you would like to set up a meeting at an event or would like more information about our program, please contact us.

HomeServe Tackles Young Couple’s Main Sewer Line Repair

HomeServe Tackles Young Couple’s Main Sewer Line Repair

The couple bought the home knowing that the sewer line would need attention, and Adam and a friend rented equipment and spent hours cleaning out the line. The couple believed that would keep the problem from worsening until they were able to implement a more permanent fix.

Wichita couple inspects their main sewer line repair project.Adam and Jennifer F. loved the first home they bought together, a historic 100 year old house in a quiet Wichita neighborhood – but they didn’t love the main sewer line problems that came with it.

However, within two years, the couple noticed they once again were experiencing drainage problems.

“I thought, ‘I just fixed that,’” Adam said. “I didn’t think it had been long enough to have another problem.”

But it was. One of the features of the backyard the couple loved was an enormous tree, easily as old as their home, but the main sewer line passed beneath it. The tree’s roots sought out the warmth the line emitted, especially during the colder months. In addition, the line was an old clay pipe and offered little resistance to the encroaching roots.

Compounding the problem, an outbuilding had been erected at the rear of the property, directly over the sewer line. In order to avoid foundation damage or completely re-routing the line to avoid the tree, an auger would be needed to dig beneath the outbuilding.

The cost would be thousands of dollars – an expense the young couple simply couldn’t afford. Fortunately, Adam had assisted a local church, and the pastor put him in contact with Sunflower Services, a HomeServe USA network contractor.

Sunflower recommended replacing the main sewer line, a clay pipe, with sturdier, more resistant PVC and rerouting it to avoid the tree and outbuilding to prevent continuing root encroachment. This method would also make the line more accessible if it should ever need repair in the future. The problem was the $7,000 price tag, representing a significant portion of their annual income.

Sunflower Services employees knew just what to do and contacted HomeServe to see if HomeServe Cares, the company’s charitable arm, would cover the young couple’s job. HomeServe agreed to cover the cost of the repair.

HomeServe, a leading home warranty company providing plumbing and electrical warranties throughout the U.S. and Canada, also offers low-cost water and sewer service line warranties through Utility Service Partners’ National League of Cities Service Line Warranty Program. The program is in partnership with municipalities and utilities and has been endorsed by several state leagues, including the Kansas League of Cities.

As for Adam and Jennifer, everything is back to normal, thanks to Sunflower Services and HomeServe.

“It’s draining just fine now,” Adam said.