Lakeland Electric chooses CustomerConnect for its customer engagement needs
September 25, 2012

Ottawa, ON-September 25, 2012—Lakeland Electric has selected CustomerConnect—Harris Utilities’ customer engagement solution—to complete its smart infrastructure implementation.

Located in central Florida, the utility is striving to flatten demand during peak-consumption periods. When outdoor temperatures near the freezing mark during the winter months, demand for electricity in City of Lakeland spikes. Lakeland Electric turned to CustomerConnect to complement other new smart grid technologies and help customers make better decisions about their energy-use habits.

“We needed a solution that would help make our customers aware of their consumption patterns during peak periods,” said Randall Dotson, Lakeland Electric’s Project Manager, Smart Grid Initiative. “CustomerConnect was the obvious choice for us because it provides that functionality.”

Lakeland Electric’s customers will use CustomerConnect to easily access their consumption histories, compare their energy usage patterns to those of prior days, weeks and months, and understand how simple changes in everyday behavior can save them money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

CustomerConnect is being pilot tested in approximately 2,000 homes and businesses prior to the rollout to all 124,000 customers. Dotson said the year-long exercise will enable Lakeland Electric to understand exactly how customers will respond to the engagement solution and to a new time-of-use pricing model. Utility managers hope time-of-use incentives and greater control of use will help customers reduce electricity use during peak periods

“We expect to need more generation capacity in eight to ten years,” said Dotson. “But if we can leverage the features of CustomerConnect to bring the value and intelligence of the smart grid to all our customers, we should be able to delay construction by an additional five to seven years. In the long run, that delay will save us millions of dollars.”

Norm Daigle, executive vice-president of CustomerConnect, said the Lakeland Electric implementation demonstrates the true value of a customer engagement solution.

“Hardware is just one component of a complete smart grid deployment,” he said. “Utilities such as Lakeland Electric can derive significantly more value from their smart grid technologies when they use CustomerConnect to help support conservation programs and flatten peak loads. Changes in customer behavior such as these will help save Lakeland Electric a great deal of money, which is good news for administrators, local residents and businesses.”

Utilities that supplement their smart grid technologies with CustomerConnect can engage consumers in new ways, increase support for conservation programs, and defer major capital investments.

About Lakeland Electric

Founded in 1904, Lakeland Electric is Florida’s third-largest public power utility and provides electricity to more than 100,000 customers. The utility maintains two power plants with a combined capacity of more than 1,100 megawatts, and prides itself on modernizing its equipment and processes to ensure it continues to deliver a high standard of care to its growing customer base.

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About CustomerConnect

CustomerConnect is an engagement solution that transforms the way utilities interact with their customers. Designed in close collaboration with a range of consumer groups, the solution gives customers direct, web-based access to account information and unprecedented insight into resource use. Built for utilities, it helps demonstrate the value of, and power behind, smart infrastructure investments to help shift customer behavior and deliver rapid results from conservation programs.

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Harris Utilities
Kristy Strauss
Communications Specialist
T: +1-613-226-5511, ext. 2097
C: +1-613-850-3657