Gary Stockbridge on Innovation
The energy industry is rapidly changing and energy companies, like Atlantic City Electric, are quickly evolving to meet new customer expectations and needs, while working to address tomorrow’s energy challenges today. We sat down with Atlantic City Electric 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, while embracing new technologies that represent the future of energy. Whether it’s our lineworkers in the field, our teams in the call center, or our support staff in the supply room, every Atlantic City Electric employee can approach their job with a critical eye and find the opportunities to further improve service for our customers.
What does innovation look like at Atlantic City Electric?
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); enhancing reliability by incorporating smarter technologies onto the local energy grid; and working with regulators on an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) feasibility study around potentially implementing smart meters in New Jersey.
Another innovative approach we have taken is using drones to assess and inspect our system and incorporating this advanced technology into daily operations. As part of our efforts to help restore energy service to residents of Puerto Rico, our crews utilized drone technology to help identify and repair downed energy lines and other damaged infrastructure, saving hours on the restoration effort.
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.
What do you see as the next major innovation at Atlantic City Electric?
I’m really excited about electric vehicles. In New Jersey, 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 and clean technology. Electric vehicles will help reduce emissions, improve public health, and protect the environment. 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 also a lot of great work going on in Maryland, Delaware, the District of Columbia, and across the country to help bring this clean, affordable transportation alternative to customers.
Gary Stockbridge was named Atlantic City Electric region president in June 2018. In addition to this expanded leadership role, Stockbridge serves as Delmarva Power’s region president. With more than 12 years in this role, Stockbridge has helped advance the competitive energy market, driven valuable regional economic development initiatives, and advanced new innovative energy technologies like solar, storage and electric vehicles. 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.