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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Distributed and renewable energy technologies are changing the electricity sector and altering traditional relationships between electric utilities and their customers. This analysis involving focus groups with fourteen electric utilities in seven U.S. states (California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Texas, and Vermont) demonstrates divergence in framing among utility representatives in terms of how they characterize customer engagement opportunities and renewable energy integration. This research is among the first qualitative studies comparing utility representatives’ discourse across the United States. Utilities in Texas and Vermont are particularly divergent especially in their framing of customer engagement opportunities during this time of energy transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalUtilities Policy
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF-SES 1127697). The authors also acknowledge with appreciation the electric utility representatives who volunteered to participate in the focus groups. The contributions of graduate student research assistants Adrienne Strubb and Michelle Wenderlich are also greatly appreciated. The manuscript was also greatly improved in response to helpful comments and editorial suggestions from two anonymous reviewers and the editor.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors


  • Consumer engagement
  • Consumers
  • Customers
  • Electric utilities
  • Renewable energy
  • States


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