Introducing Guest Blogger, Matt Chester
Our guest blogger, Matt Chester, is an energy analyst in Orlando FL, by way of Washington DC. Matt is a utility sector expert and will be producing blog content for us, with a specific focus on the utility sector.
Matt believes customer engagement in utilities is just as important to the modernization of our power sector. He says, “Technology and programs are only as good as the number of customers that buy-in, so I’m interested in the customer experience angle of the energy industry as well.” Read on to learn more about Matt and his passion for the energy sector.
What's your backstory
I studied engineering in college but wasn’t clear on what I intended to do after graduating. Realizing that the transformation of energy and utility sectors would define our times; I decided to put my scientific background to work in utilities.
Through personal and professional research into this space, I became involved in blogging and publishing articles about everything I was learning. While the technological advancements in the utility space were so critical, I have learned during my career that customer engagement in utilities is just as important to the modernization of our power sector. Technology and programs are only as good as the number of customers that buy-in, so I’m interested in the customer experience angle of the energy industry as well!
What has been the greatest influence on your career?
The utility sector and the broader energy industry are some of the most open, supportive, and collaborative that I’ve ever come across. It’s not a zero-sum game, so you have utility actors who are freely sharing best practices and lessons learned and always willing to chat. I’ve been greatly influenced by this tendency and have learned the power of reaching out to professionals who are working on something interesting, as they’re almost always willing to chat about it!
If you could travel anywhere - where would it be?
I hope commercial space travel becomes practical and relatively affordable in my lifetime because I’d love to live up to the dreams of my 7-year old self who wanted to be an astronaut and travel outside of our planet Earth!
What do you see as the biggest challenge to operating in today's world?
For many decades, the utility industry was stagnant and limited by legacy processes and ways of thinking. It’s only in recent years that the approach of ‘we’ve always done things this way’ is changing; driven by rapidly advancing technology, policy, and market dynamics. I think one of the biggest challenges will be staying ahead of the curve, and reimagining what the utility industry of tomorrow will look like. There are plenty of industry veterans who may be resistant to this new paradigm, but it’s time to be proactive rather than reactive.
Outside of work, what are you passionate about?
I love cooking, animals, protecting the future of the environment, and competing in fantasy sports.
As a child, what did you think you would grow up to be?
I was convinced I would be an astronaut, which is partially why I pursued a college engineering degree in the first place! I still love following the world of space exploration and living in Orlando, I frequently have an opportunity to see that up close and personal.
Matt Chester is an energy analyst in Orlando FL, by way of Washington DC. He studied engineering and science & technology policy at the University of Virginia before diving into the world of federal energy policy.
Today he runs Chester Energy and Policy LLC and publishes his blog at ChesterEnergyandPolicy.com in which he shares news, insights, and advice in the fields of energy policy and energy technology. You can also see Matt’s work on energycentral.com where he serves as a Community Manage with a utility industry focus.
Matt is writing a series of guest blogs for Striata, focusing on paperless billing and digital communication in utilities.
For daily quick hits on energy and utility topics, you can follow him on Twitter at @ChesterEnergy.