Fierce Innovation Awards 2015
Recognizing cutting-edge companies leading us to a smarter energy future.
Rapid advances in technology along with increasing pressure to address climate change and environmental sustainability are forcing electric utilities to reinvent themselves – and to choose partners from a crowded marketplace of technology providers to help them do it.
The Fierce Innovation Awards: Energy Edition are an important vehicle for technology companies to have their product, solution or service stand out from the crowd. The program does not take the place of testing, certifications or on-site pilots, but does help utilities narrow their choices to a short list of technologies they should consider before they select a vendor partner.
Our all-star panel of third-party judges from major utility companies will review products, solutions and services with proven, quantifiable track records. Given all of the decisions utilities face make as they assemble the pieces of a modern, intelligent electric grid, the Fierce Innovation Awards could not be timelier -- or more essential.
The 2015 application period is now closed and winners have been announced. Click here to download the Innovations Report.
To view last year's winners, click here.
Special thanks to our Media Partners:
Congratulations to our 2015 winners:
We have 18 distinct categories to choose from and several levels of participation available. Products may be entered in the following categories:
This category will recognize innovations in smart grid technologies and programs that promote more effective and forward-thinking ways to enhance utility performance, both in daily operations and in meeting customers' increasingly high service expectations.
- Customer Engagement: Customer communications and outreach/educational initiatives that encourage customer participation in energy savings programs. Also, solutions to promote acceptance of smart grid, smart meters and utility programs such as home energy management.
- Big Data/Analytics: Methodology and technical solutions for translating data received from smart meters and other smart grid technologies into information that can be used to more effectively and efficiently enhance customer service and manage assets.
- Mobile Workforce Management: Appropriate solutions and strategies for communicating with and managing an increasingly decentralized workforce through the use of mobile devices, tablets and laptops and other specialized equipment. Also, solutions for strengthening and future-proofing mobile workforce management programs.
- Smart Grid Managed Services: Solutions that address how to select and work with outside vendors and services to greatly reduce the need for costly investments such as data centers and specialized staff.
Transmission & Distribution
This category will recognize the most effective technologies, applications and practices in grid infrastructure and power management, operations and service reliability.
- Asset Management and Condition-based Maintenance: Solutions such as asset health analytics and predictive maintenance tools that facilitate determining the optimum time to replace or maintain aging equipment.
- Distribution Management Systems: Application solutions that provide efficient real time monitoring and control of entire distribution networks, as well as make the best use of existing resources and manage demand.
- Microgrids: Solutions that offer effective roadmaps for community-based energy programs and grid-independent and stand-alone power generating systems. Also, solutions that assist utilities in determining the most suitable application for a given situation.
- Grid/Volt/VAR Optimization/Conservation Voltage Reduction: Effective technology solutions that satisfy increasing regulatory emphasis on energy efficiency and energy savings programs. Also, solutions that incorporate real-time monitoring and the ability to adapt voltage control to changing conditions.
- Outage Management Services: Technology and strategy solutions -- such as integrating AMI into outage management systems -- that successfully address the challenges inherent in maintaining and preserving a resilient system for outage prevention and fast, efficient restoration.
- Transformer Monitoring: Monitoring and predictive solutions that efficiently and rapidly diagnose the current status and condition of transformer components.
Awards in this category will recognize the most effective solutions and programs for achieving energy conservation and efficiency, as well as for enlisting customer participation in those programs.
- Demand Response/Demand Side Management: Successful customer-facing programs that encourage and promote energy efficiency by offering incentives for shifting energy use to off-peak times and/or reducing consumption during periods of peak demand.
- Electric Vehicles: Strategies and solutions to safely and effectively connect the growing number of electric vehicles to the grid while minimizing impact on the grid. Also solutions that integrate renewable energy sources into EV charging systems.
- Energy Efficiency: Program-based solutions that encourage residential, commercial and industrial customers to reduce energy consumption and make the most effective use of the energy they do use.
- Home Energy Management: Technology and program solutions that allow utilities to take advantage of smart meters and monitoring and sensing equipment to track the energy use of individual appliances and systems within the home and provide that information to customers in an easy-to-use format.
These awards will recognize the highest achievement in leveraging smart grid technologies to provide a secure, sustainable, resilient and reliable electric grid.
- Cybersecurity: Prevention and protection solutions and strategies that safeguard sophisticated smart grid communications, operations and other activities from cyber-attacks or similar disruptions.
- Energy Storage: Grid-scale technologies and applications for storing energy generated during off-peak periods (such as intermittent wind and solar energy sources) and releasing it during periods of higher demand.
- Meter Data Management: Solutions dedicated to acquiring and translating smart meter data into useful information that can be used to improve operations, provide business intelligence and enhance relationships with customers.
- Smart Grid Communications: Solutions and networks that efficiently provide the two-way communications needed for smart grid systems. Also strategies that identify the most appropriate communications technologies for specific conditions such as population density and topography.
Judges will evaluate submissions based on the following criteria:
- Technology Innovation: Is the technology itself innovative or used in an innovative way? How does the new technology improve upon existing technology? What problems does it solve?
- Financial Impact: Does this product enable utilities to save money? What is the ROI on this product?
- Market Validation: Would you consider using this product for your company? What evidence is there that this product will gain traction with customers?
- Compatibility with Existing Network Environments: Does this product have the necessary interfaces, protocol support and/or compatibility with industry standards that could lead to faster deployment?
- End-User Customer Experience: Does this product make a utility company's operations better/faster/stronger?
- Overall Level of Innovation: Is this product truly cutting edge?
Best in Show
All of the category winners will be eligible for our three "Best in Show" honors.
- Most Efficient Energy Saver
- Most Impressive Cost-Saver
- Most Innovative
Submissions will be judged by a distinguished panel of third-party executives from major North American utilities. Submissions will be blind and will not be reviewed by members of the Fierce editorial team.
Dr. Steven Pratt is a 36 year veteran of the IT Industry and has held positions in all facets of technology implementation, support, and management. Steve is currently the Chief Technology Officer for CenterPoint Energy. His responsibilities include ensuring the alignment between technology use and business requirements. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, a Masters in Organization Behavior, and a Ph.D. in System Science. He is the author of “A Framework for the Ontological Representation of Organization Memory” in which he postulates the Theory of Virtual Organizational Memory Dynamics. Steve’s recent interests include Intelligence virtualization through “data derivatives” and the exploration of “dark data” for driving business innovation.
Jason Handley, P.E. is the Director of Smart Grid Emerging Technology and Operations in the Emerging Technology Office at Duke Energy. Jason has over 18 years of electric utility experience specializing in the smart grid, distribution automation, and operations management. In his current role, Jason develops and defines new technologies that may be impacting the electrical grid and oversees all of the ongoing operational aspects on new technology pilot projects in the Emerging Technology Office. He received his electrical engineering degree from Auburn University and his MBA at Wake Forest University. Jason has been a registered professional engineer since 2002.
For the last 18-years, Joe has led or participated in the support and enhancements of mission critical operations and customer applications as a member of the Information Technology Development Department for Ameren. In his current role, he is Director of IT Smart Grid Technologies for one of the largest initiatives within Ameren Illinois’ history, namely, the Modernization Action Plan. This multi-year plan will transform the processes and technologies utilized in support of Ameren Illinois’ customers, while empowering customers to more effectively monitor and manage their energy consumption. Joe has a B.A. in Philosophy from St. Louis University, a B.S. in Computer Science and an MBA from Webster University.
As Vice President of Engineering and Smart Grid and Technology, Svachula has a key strategic role directing the personnel and activities of the Distribution Planning, Reliability Programs, Equipment and Standards, and Reliability Analysis departments including the preparation of area capacity reinforcement plans and customer capacity planning. He also provides direction for Smart Grid technologies, not only at ComEd, but in collaboration across Exelon Utilities so that customers fully experience the benefits that this technology promises. Prior to his current role Svachula served as Vice President of Distribution System Operations and Vice President of Customer Field Operations. He began his professional career at ComEd in 1988 in a variety of field engineering positions and has more than 27 years of utility industry experience, including key leadership positions in Transmission & Substations, Work Management, Distribution Operations, Operational Strategy & Business Intelligence, and Customer Operations Strategies & Support.
Laney Brown is the Director of Smart Grid Planning and Programs at Iberdrola USA. Prior to her current role, she was responsible for the planning and deployment of the AMI program at Central Maine Power and for the development of Iberdrola USA’s Smart Grid strategy. She is currently leading Iberdrola USA’s efforts in New York’s Reforming the Energy (REV) proceeding including the development of the Demonstration projects. Ms. Brown received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colby College and is currently studying for a joint Masters in Business Administration with a focus on the Global Energy Industry from the University of Strathclyde Business School in Scotland and University Pontificas Comillas ICADE in Spain.
Lisa Davidson is the Director of Customer Programs for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). In her current role, she is responsible for overseeing the development, implementation and integration of comprehensive customer offerings related to energy efficiency and demand response. Lisa joined Sempra in 2001 and has held positions in Regulatory Affairs, Finance and External Affairs at Sempra and SDG&E. Prior to joining Sempra, Lisa was a Consultant with Accenture’s business process management division in Chicago, Illinois. Lisa is a graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.
Murphy oversees the company’s external affairs, including legislative lobbying activities and policy development, economic development, and corporate relations. She is responsible for the company’s suite of energy efficiency programs that help customers save energy and money, and oversees the energy services organization, which manages the company’s largest customer accounts. Based in Philadelphia, PECO is Pennsylvania’s largest electric and natural gas utility. The company employs about 2,400 people, owns $9 billion in assets, and generates approximately $3.7 billion in annual revenues. A subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, the nation’s largest competitive energy provider, PECO serves 1.6 million electric and more than 500,000 gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania. Exelon is headquartered in Chicago and trades on the NYSE under the ticker EXC.
Live Awards Webcast & Innovation Report
Winners will be announced by Jason Nelson, Publisher of FierceEnergy and Smart Grid News, on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 2PM ET. Jason will recognize finalists, category and Best in Show winners. Best in Show winners will also have the opportunity to speak during the webcast. Click here to register for the webcast.
The Innovation Report is a companion publication to the awards program that will publish the same day of our live webcast, November 5, 2015. The report will highlight some of the most pressing challenges, promising trends and innovative technologies that are defining today's electric power industry. The report is also a forum to learn about the the participants in the program including finalists, category and Best in Show winners. There are also advertising opportunities available within the report including full page ads, thought leadership articles, and directory listings. Please visit our Pricing page to learn more.
Any company that has a product, solution or service that is helping to address the challenges faced by utility companies.
When is the application deadline?
Friday, September 25, at 11:59PM ET.
Visit our Categories page for descriptions of each category. If you still can’t decide, feel free to contact us and we can help you figure out which category or categories are the best fit for your product, solution or service.
Visit the Apply Now! page to submit your application. You'll need to provide us with your contact information, a Microsoft Word file of your application containing your company name, company website, product name, company overview (150 words maximum), product description (500 words maximum), an explanation of the real world application of your product (500 words maximum), an .EPS file of your company logo, and payment via credit card.
You will receive an email confirming that your submission was successful. If you have issues submitting your application, please contact us.
The cost to submit a single application is $500. Applicants also have the opportunity to purchase advertising in our Innovation Report (a report that will examine the most important forces guiding power innovation as well as recognize finalists, category and Best in Show winners). Advertising opportunities include directory listings, full page advertisements, and thought leadership articles. All pricing information can be found on our Pricing page.
You can pay for your application using a credit card at the time of submission.
Each application will be reviewed by multiple judges against a set of criteria designed to evaluate the product’s ability to make a positive, innovative, real world impact for utility companies. The criteria includes: technology innovation, financial impact, market validation, compatibility with existing network environments, end-user customer experience, and overall level of innovation. Each judge will provide a score to each set of criteria (1-5; 5=highest, 1=lowest); all scores from each judge are then averaged. The applications with the highest average scores are designated as category finalists and category winners.
Best in Show winners are selected from category winners. Each category winner’s application is resubmitted to the judges who then select the most efficient energy saver, the most impressive cost saver, and the most innovative product overall.
Yes, judges will supply comments and feedback on your submission.
Finalists will be notified via email on Wednesday, October 21, 2015.
Winners will be announced by Jason Nelson, Publisher of FierceEnergy and Smart Grid News, during a live webcast on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 2PM ET. Jason will recognize finalists, category and Best in Show winners. Best in Show winners will also have the opportunity to speak during the webcast. Click here to register for the webcast.
Immediately following the live webcast our Innovation Report will be available for download. The Innovation Report will also recognize the finalists, category and Best in Show winners.
The Innovation Report is a companion publication to the awards program. The report will highlight some of the most pressing challenges, promising trends and innovative technologies that are defining today's electric power industry.
The report is also a forum to learn about the the participants in the program including finalists, category and Best in Show winners.
There are also advertising opportunities available within the report including full page ads, thought leadership articles, and directory listings. Please visit our Pricing page to learn more.
If we have not addressed your question or if you need additional information, please contact us.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can expect a reply within 24 hours. If you don't receive one, please contact 202-496-5549.