Harnessing the true power of social media.
John Kunasek is the national sector leader for energy and natural resources for KPMG LLP. Rilck Noel is a director in KPMG LLP’s advisory practice.
Utilities and their customers exchange critical information during crises, natural disasters, power outages, and other black swan events, thanks to the ubiquity of social media and its growing role in B-to-C communication. In some states, regulators require utilities to use social media to keep customers informed about outages and restoration of power. For example, earlier this year, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities issued a mandate requiring utilities to use social media to report on outages and on restoration of power.
Given the increase in extraordinary events - such as the recent floods in Colorado, wildfires in California, and Superstorm Sandy - both regulators and the public will place a greater burden on utilities to use social for critical, real-time information.