Cloud for Utilities present the 2023 Icon Awards at the Digital + Cloud Summit

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA — Cloud for Utilities recognized the latest class of Icon Award winners at the finale of the 2023 Digital + Cloud Summit. This years’ recipients have in common a dedication to their customers, both internal and external, and using innovation to better meet their needs. The Icon Awards recognize innovation within the utilities industry and help to highlight great examples that other utilities could and should learn from. The 2023 Icon Award winners will be highlighted in The Wall Street Journal, pictured to the right.

Without further ado, the winners of the 2023 Icon Awards:

Customer Executive of the Year

Premjith Lakshman Singh
Chief Information and Digital Officer and VP of Customer Care
South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority

Mr. Singh has a track record of innovation and in his tenure with the Regional Water Authority, has helped to push the utility forward. From driving the adoption of agile and digital solutions, improving operational efficiencies, to improving the customer experience. He has spearheaded the creation of a customer-centric culture at the utility and commercial programs that give RWA’s customers more options than ever. He has proven himself to be deeply dedicated to all of his customers and his community, as well as colleagues in the utility industry.

Technology Executive of the Year

Ben Gordon
Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer & Chief Digital Officer
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas (SoCalGas)

In his five-year tenure at SDG&E and SoCalGas, Mr.  Gordon has embraced and implemented cloud-based projects and initiatives that leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning, and virtual twin-technology to respond and rise to some of his communities’ biggest challenges, including climate change, wildfire prevention, and decarbonization. Additionally, under his leadership, SDG&E’s IT organization has developed a new culture: developing talent in-house; championing customer obsession, and continuous learning, innovation, and collaboration.

Customer Innovation of the Year

San Diego Gas & Electric’s Vehicle to Grid program at the Cajon Valley Union School District

The first such project in the region, SDG&E’s vehicle-to-grid (V2G) program with the Cajon Valley Union School District connects eight electric school buses to the grid with bi-directional chargers. The buses can charge up to run routes and when parked can act as batteries discharging energy back to the grid. Due to the larger battery size, they can charge and discharge according to electricity demand. The project reduces costs for the district’s schools — electricity is cheaper than diesel fuel — and through SDG&E’s Emergency Load Reduction Program, can generate revenue when they give energy back to the grid during times of critical energy needs. Learn more about the project here:

Innovation of the Year

Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s My Energy Optimizer Partner Plus Program.

SMUD’s first large-scale battery program, the My Energy Optimizer Partner+ (MEO) partners with and incentivizes customers to connect their battery system operations to the Virtual Power Plant control system so SMUD can alter the times systems will charge and discharge. The program drives down the cost of ownership for residential solar and battery storage systems while helping to balance the grid during high stress demand periods. The MEO program gives customers options on how they interact with the grid and adds a reliable resource to their energy supply. Included in this program is connecting with the local workforce to provide training in clean energy careers, expanding the network of local solar installers accessing the program, and installing 150 batteries in under-resourced communities during the first three years of the program.