E&E News: Ex-DOE, eBay guru wants utilities to be like Starbucks

Steve Westly says today's utilities could learn a thing or two from the coffee pioneer Starbucks Corp. …. Westly, 62, thinks behemoth utilities should be thinking more along the lines of personalized coffee orders instead of relying on impersonal utility bills.

"Traditional utilities are the old coffee business — limited choices, poor customer experience, no customer engagement to speak of," Westly told a crowd in Austin recently. "You need to jump into the Starbucks world."

What Westly sees: Millennials want connectivity, community and a smaller carbon footprint, especially as urban areas grow — not the pollution and global warming tied to an aging energy sector. Read more.