Gary Stockbridge on Innovation
The energy industry is rapidly changing and energy companies, like Delmarva Power, are quickly evolving to meet new customer expectations and needs. We sat down with Delmarva Power Region President Gary Stockbridge to see what this looks likes for the company and our customers.
What does innovation mean to you?
For me, innovation means we are constantly examining what we are doing and finding ways to improve. Whether it’s our lineworkers in the field, our teams in the call center, or our support staff in the supply room, every Delmarva Power employee can approach their job with a critical eye and find the opportunities to improve service for our customers.
What does innovation look like at Delmarva Power?
Innovation comes in many shapes and sizes and is a driving force behind how we are tackling challenges and the new services we are offering our customers. These initiatives include providing customers new digital tools to take more control of their energy service; proposing innovative programs for new services, like electric vehicles (EVs); and enhancing reliability by incorporating smarter technologies onto the local energy grid, using drones to assess and inspect our system, and finding non-wires solutions with batteries and microgrids.
How do you keep employees focused on innovation?
I think it’s the emphasis we place on delivering the best possible customer experience, along with our focus on creating an environment that encourages employee-led innovation. We know our customers’ needs are changing and it’s our job to meet their expectations. We have regular meetings to review customer satisfaction and make sure we are focused on the efforts that will have a meaningful impact. It’s also about encouraging a culture of innovation throughout our company. Everyone’s ideas can have a big impact and we do a lot to foster employee ideas, implement them, and celebrate them. Last year’s New Technology Symposium gave our employees the opportunity to showcase some of the new and innovative products and services they are working on to transform the energy experience for our customers.
What do you see as the next major innovation at Delmarva Power?
I’m really excited about electric vehicles. In Delaware, we worked with our partners across the region to propose an innovative EV program to expand needed charging infrastructure and prepare for the growth of this exciting technology. Transportation emissions make up 30 percent of Delaware’s greenhouse gases, so by supporting EVs, we are helping the state reduce the carbon footprint of vehicles and meet its sustainability goals. But this is just the very beginning. There is a lot of great work going on in Maryland, New Jersey, the District of Columbia and across the country to help bring this clean, affordable transportation alternative to customers.
Gary Stockbridge has served as Delmarva Power’s region president since 2005. In June, his leadership role was expanded to include both Delmarva Power and Atlantic City Electric in southern New Jersey. He also serves as board president for the Workforce Investment Board in Delaware; chairman of the board for the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce; Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve state chair of Delaware; president of the board for United Way of Delaware; chairman of the board of the Vision Coalition supporting education reform in Delaware; chairman of the advisory board for the Chesapeake Bay Council of the Girl Scouts; and chairman of the advisory board for Kingswood Community Center.