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Expect the Unexpected: 2020’s Lessons in Innovation and Continuity

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2020 has been a year like no other. As challenging as it has been at times, it has also given all of us across the industry the opportunity to rise to the occasion and continue to deliver the critical electricity, gas and water services that our customers rely on, day in and day out—safely, reliably and efficiently.

To gauge how our customers were adapting to the pandemic and resulting hardships, Itron surveyed this year’s Itron Utility Week Advisory Board to learn more about what lessons they’ve learned as they adapt to COVID-19 and how that learning can be applied to future resiliency and adaptability in the face of uncertain, challenging times.

Through this survey, we discovered a few keys themes, including:
  • Utilities across North America reacted swiftly. Contingency plans, new procedures and polices to ensure the safety of employees and the communities were enacted or created quickly.
  • Community service and compassion took—and continues to take—center stage. Our customers are always a huge player in their communities, and the pandemic only accentuated this fact.
  • Communication is absolutely critical. Leadership teams needed to discuss and enact business continuity/crisis plans quickly; workforces that suddenly found themselves remote and working from home needed to remain engaged and in sync; and more.
  • Looking forward, leadership teams are determining how to leverage lessons learned from this new working model.

We are pleased to share the complete findings of our survey in a couple of ways:
  • First is a downloadable eBook, available here. This document summarizes how innovation helped to evolve pandemic responses for the utilities represented, and how the pandemic accelerated or paused certain initiatives.
  • The second is through a podcast featuring our Advisory Board chair Joe Thomas of Duke Energy and myself. This podcast is available as on-demand content for attendees of our first-ever virtual Itron Utility Week.

To all of our customers, partners and prospects committed to ensuring essential energy and water service – thank you. We will continue to navigate this unprecedented time together. Stay well and stay safe.