From Energy Storage Systems to New Business Models – Intersolar Europe Creates Added Value

Image

The solar industry will take center stage at Messe München from June 10-12, 2015 when industry representatives meet at Intersolar Europe, the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry. Visitors can expect a comprehensive accompanying program – new trends and innovations are presented at the Innovation Exchange, while outstanding developments are recognized with the Intersolar AWARD. Numerous workshops and presentations also offer those interested the opportunity to expand their knowledge. Intersolar Europe is accompanied by the Intersolar Europe Conference, which sees participants report on and discuss topics such as international market developments and political conditions.  

New financing and business models for photovoltaics form an important part of this year’s Intersolar Europe as well as the comprehensive accompanying program. Photovoltaic installations are playing an increasingly decisive role in power generation worldwide. According to market research company IHS, 2015 will see demand grow by 16% to 25% and an additional 53 to 57 gigawatts (GW) installed. While steady growth is on the cards for Europe, it is markets like China, Japan and the USA that are driving the industry forward. Drastic reductions in system costs and expiring government subsidies have led to the emergence of both challenges and opportunities. New financing and business models are required to drive the market forward.

Innovation Exchange: A platform for outstanding developments 

Numerous Intersolar Europe exhibitors are set to showcase the technologies, products and services required for this at the Innovation Exchange from June 10-12 (hall B3, booth B3.450). We believe that especially innovative developments deserve to be recognized – which is exactly what will happen towards the end of the first exhibition day at the Intersolar AWARD and ees AWARD ceremonies. At this year’s ees Europe, the international exhibition for batteries, energy storage systems and innovative production taking place in parallel to Intersolar Europe, the ees AWARD will honor the innovative strength of exhibitors for the second time. The award ceremony takes place on June 10 from 4:30pm-6:00pm after the nominated companies have held short presentations on their solutions.

Workshops and presentations: Interesting facts to the point 

Presentations and workshops included in the accompanying program are valued by many visitors, as they give them the chance to expand their knowledge and bring themselves up to speed on selected topics. The German Solar Energy Society (DGS) is one of the partners of Intersolar Europe to step into the spotlight with a comprehensive program. The DGS presentation series, taking place at the Innovation Exchange on June 12 from 2:00pm-4:00pm, focuses on topics such as the profitability of PV installations, safety and security, and heating networks.

Workshops held by the German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar), which provide specialist information in a compact and application-oriented manner, have also proven to be a success. One of the six exhibition workshops covers financing solar projects in emerging and developing countries, and sees representatives of solar companies and financing experts introduce reference projects. Together with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the German Solar Industry Association is organizing a workshop entitled From Niche to Mainstream – Falling Costs of Solar Open New Market Segments for Solar Applications. Further workshops turn their attention to solar park auctions, on-site PV consumption models, the new energy label for solar thermal systems, and PV installation and battery recycling.

Stronger together – the Joint Forces for Solar networking platform 

This year, the Joint Forces for Solar initiative will hold the seventh PV Briefing & Networking Forum Europe – marking a long tradition. On June 11 from 4:00pm-6:00pm, experts at the Innovation Exchange will give insights into current developments in the European PV market with a focus on electricity storage. The forum also serves as a networking platform for solar experts spanning the entire supply chain, from installers and manufacturers to project developers and distributors – following the motto: Together we are stronger. The day is rounded off with presentations by EuPD Research on energy management and smart grids.

Understanding the hows and whys – expert discussions at the Intersolar Europe Conference 

The Intersolar Europe Conference takes place in parallel to Intersolar Europe in the ICM – Internationales Congress Center München from June 9-10. At the conference, 200 speakers and around 1,100 attendees will expand on the topics of the exhibition and explore new trends. Those hoping to understand the hows and whys of current developments in the solar industry are encouraged to visit the conference.

ees Europe – broadening horizons 

Energy storage solutions play an important role in photovoltaics. This is the focus of ees Europe, which takes place in parallel to Intersolar Europe. ees Europe is Europe’s largest exhibition for batteries, energy storage systems and innovative production, as well as the industry platform for suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and users of stationary and mobile electricity storage systems. This year for the first time, ees Europe will be joined by its own conference: the ees Europe Conference. The special exhibit on innovative mobility focuses on e-mobility (hall B1, booth B1.470), providing visitors with information on pioneering vehicle concepts and charging technologies.

American Campus Communities Wins Eight Innovator Awards

Image

American Campus Communities Inc., the largest owner, manager and developer of high-quality student housing properties in the U.S., today reported that the company recently won a record eight INNOVATOR Awards at the 2015 Interface Conference sponsored by Student Housing Business magazine. American Campus Communities was recognized for excellence in development, architecture and design, sustainability, renovation, creative financing, implementation of mixed-use and property turnaround strategy.

American Campus Communities won six of the eight awards given for the on-campus category reinforcing the company’s best-in-class reputation. Universities across the country are using public-private partnerships to deliver student housing, allowing them to use their limited capital for core academic and research infrastructure. American Campus’ development expertise and experience spans across 20 years and includes 100 projects representing nearly $4.7 billion in total development.

“We are honored to have won six of the eight on-campus awards for our projects recognizing excellence across a wide range of categories including architectural design, financing, sustainable development and strategic operations,” said Jamie Wilhelm, American Campus Communities executive vice president of public-private partnerships. “We believe that when you truly understand the goals of your university partner, and are flexible in providing market driven, customized solutions, the results are unique communities where students love living.”

The individual awards are:

·         On-campus: Best New Development – Chestnut Square at Drexel University

Chestnut Square, an 861-bed mixed-use urban residential community, is the result of a successful developer-led partnership between American Campus Communities via its American Campus Equity (ACE®) program and Drexel University that helped the university achieve its goals for student retention, campus transformation and increased on-campus housing.

·         On-campus: Most Creative Public/ Private Partnership – University Crossings at Drexel University

The company included its existing University Crossings asset, a 1,016-bed student housing community located adjacent to Drexel University, in a large scale public-private partnership with Drexel through its ACE program. This enabled the renovation and repositioning of the community as affiliated Drexel housing, allowing Drexel to expand its housing capacity.

·         On-campus: Best Architecture/ Design – Chestnut Square at Drexel University

Designed by internationally acclaimed Robert A.M. Stern Architects to completely integrate into the core campus of Drexel and the heart of the University City District in Philadelphia, Chestnut Square transformed a nondescript section of Chestnut Street to produce a lively streetscape and gateway.

·         On-campus: Best Renovation of Existing Dorm – Manzanita Hall at Arizona State University

American Campus Communities and ASU completely redeveloped a 45-year-old campus icon, Manzanita Hall, honoring the building’s original aesthetic while providing modern student accommodations. Financing via the company’s ACE program made the redevelopment possible.

·         On-campus: Best Implementation of Mixed-Use – Raider Village at Southern Oregon University

Raider Village is a third-party development project that incorporates housing and dining facilities to foster an urban model of an attractive, walkable mixed-use community within the small town of Ashland, OR.

·         On-campus: Best Use of Green/ Sustainable Construction/ Development – Raider Village at Southern Oregon University

Raider Village is the newest campus development that promotes a sustainable lifestyle and delivers a holistic living experience on the SOU campus. The Village includes 195,000 SF of new student housing, 24,000 SF of dining opportunities on more than 6.8 acres of landscaping, parking and pedestrian paths. Each of the three buildings has achieved LEED Gold certification, and the development serves as an interactive learning community of environmental stewardship and inspiration.

·         Off-campus: Best New Development <300 Beds – 601 Copeland, Tallahassee, FL

601 Copeland, a 283-bed community pedestrian to the Florida State University campus in a very popular fraternity and sorority student submarket, combined a unique design that also provides students easy pedestrian access to campus and Greek life activities, making it a popular housing option for sorority members.

·         Off-campus: Best Turnaround Project – 922 Place, Tempe, AZ

In September 2012, American Campus purchased what is now 922 Place with the goal to transform the property from its party atmosphere reputation into an academically oriented environment where students can thrive and have a closer connection to Arizona State University.

The annual INNOVATOR Awards are sponsored and executed by Student Housing Business (SHB) magazine to honor excellence in development, architecture/design, sustainable design and development, finance, marketing and promotion and amenities in student housing properties, on- and off-campus. Judges are selected among industry peers by SHB.

Mitsubishi Electric Launches New Environmental Plan

Image

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation announced today that it has launched as of this month its eighth environmental plan, a three-year action plan aligned with a long-term environmental management vision pointing to 2021, Mitsubishi Electric’s centenary.

According to preliminary figures, the company estimates that it has achieved all major targets under its just-completed three-year plan launched in 2012. This includes targets for improved energy efficiency of Mitsubishi Electric products, which achieved an average 34 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions compared to fiscal 2001 levels. Mitsubishi Electric has been implementing three-year environmental plans since 1993, aiming to become a global, leading green company.

In the new plan, efforts to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, previously handled separately, are now combined to achieve a more coordinated outcome. Mitsubishi Electric will now evaluate and control its global-warming impact on a comprehensive basis according to international standards for calculating greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenhouse gas reduction

By the fiscal year ending March 2018 (fiscal 2018), the Group aims to reduce total annual greenhouse gas emissions, including gases such as carbon dioxide, sulfur hexafluoride, perfluorocarbon and hydrofluorocarbon, to 1.37 million tons on a carbon-dioxide-equivalent basis. This compares favorably with a benchmark of 2.64 million tons. The multi-year benchmark uses fiscal 1991 for carbon dioxide emissions on a non-consolidated basis; fiscal 2001 for carbon dioxide emissions from Japan-based affiliated companies, and non-carbon dioxide emissions on both a non-consolidated basis and from Japan-based affiliated companies; and fiscal 2006 for both carbon dioxide and non-carbon dioxide emissions from affiliated companies outside Japan.

Efforts to improve the energy efficiency of Mitsubishi Electric Group products are expected to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions generated by the use of these products by an average 35 percent. By improving the energy-saving performance of products and promoting switches from older products, Mitsubishi Electric will also expand its contributions in reducing emissions from product usage to 92 million tons.

Recycling

In addition to increased sharing of case studies and technical information regarding material recycling throughout the Group, Mitsubishi Electric aims to halve final-waste disposal ratios at affiliated companies outside Japan. Individual factories that are in most need of improvement will be provided with advanced know how for waste sorting and plastic recycling. The target ratios for final-waste disposal are less than 0.1 percent at the sites of Mitsubishi Electric and Japanese affiliates, and less than 0.5 percent at the sites of affiliate companies outside Japan. Also, resource inputs will be reduced to 40 percent of the fiscal 2001 level through lighter and more compact products.

Environmental awareness

Mitsubishi Electric will expand its e-learning programs for environmental management to some 140 affiliates worldwide, aiming to foster greater environmental awareness among employees. In Japan, nature-oriented public-awareness activities have the goal of attracting an accumulated total of 30,000 participants, up 10,000 from the previous three years.

Environmental management

Mitsubishi Electric will evaluate the environmental risks of its global factories using an original index covering air pollution, water pollution, chemical substances, greenhouse gas emissions and waste disposal. Factories outside Japan that score lowly will be provided with assistance to help reduce their environmental risks, ultimately to prevent environmental accidents.

New Stanford Energy System Cuts Emissions 68 Percent and Fossil Fuel 65 Percent

Image

Stanford announces an innovative new approach to meeting its energy needs that will make it one of the world’s most energy-efficient universities. The comprehensive new system incorporates solar power for electricity, combined with heat recovery, to allow the university to exceed the aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals of California’s landmark AB 32 Global Warming Solutions Act. It eliminates 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of removing 32,000 cars from the road.

Stanford University has converted to a state-of-the-art energy system that relies on renewable electricity and provides a new transformational energy supply model for large organizations, utilities and governments.

The university today announced a new agreement to provide the majority of its campus electricity from renewable sources within California. A Stanford Solar Generating Station, to be designed and built by SunPower, is expected to provide half of all campus electricity. Combined with planned solar power from installations on campus rooftops and the purchase of further renewable power from the grid, renewable energy will supply 65 percent of all campus electricity. The renewable energy is joined by a first-of-its-kind campus heat recovery system, which began operating March 24 to heat and cool campus buildings.

The combined new system – Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) – makes Stanford one of the most energy-efficient research universities in the world. It far exceeds the aggressive goals of California’s AB 32 Global Warming Solutions Act, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

In addition to the deep reduction in reliance on fossil fuels, SESI cuts the university’s greenhouse gas emissions by 68 percent, which represents 150,000 tons of CO2 annually or the amount produced by 32,000 cars. It will save Stanford $420 million over 35 years (as compared to a cogeneration option) and will reduce total campus water use by about 15 percent.

“SESI achieves a stunning and unprecedented reduction in Stanford’s carbon footprint and water usage,” said Stanford President John Hennessy. “We believe this system can be a model for others equally concerned about reducing greenhouse gas emissions and willing to make an investment in the future. SESI is a transformational energy system for the 21st century, and we look forward to sharing the technology with others.”

Leveraging alternative energy

Stanford has entered into an agreement with SunPower, a leading global provider of solar technology solutions, to build a 68-megawatt peak solar plant on approximately 300 acres in California. The solar farm, which will be called the Stanford Solar Generating Station, will be comprised of more than 150,000 high efficiency SunPower solar panels.

Stanford Solar is expected to come online in late 2016. SunPower has been selected by Stanford to install about 5 megawatts of rooftop solar systems on campus. Together with the Stanford Solar plant, the solar systems will provide about 53 percent of Stanford’s total electricity use.

“Stanford’s bold initiative to integrate cost-effective, sustainable energy solutions to power its operations is unparalleled, and we applaud the university’s commitment,” said Tom Werner, SunPower CEO and president. “SunPower is very proud to work with Stanford in support of the program. Thirty years ago, our company was founded by Dr. Richard Swanson, who was a Stanford professor and alumnus. Dr. Swanson is a legend in the solar industry based on his work developing the highest efficiency solar cells on the market today and helping to grow SunPower from a Silicon Valley startup to a global leader in solar technology solutions.”

The remaining 47 percent of Stanford’s electricity will come from California grid power, resulting in another 12 percent of which is renewable. Because about one-fourth of California grid power is renewable (and that will increase to 33 percent by 2020 under state regulations), Stanford’s total power mix will provide at least 65 percent clean electricity to campus buildings.

Stanford will use the green electricity produced at both the Stanford solar plant and from installations on campus rooftops, along with the California energy grid, to power campus buildings and the new facility.

Also key to SESI is the new, on-campus Central Energy Facility (CEF) that relies on a heat-recovery process that is 70 percent more efficient than the cogeneration process Stanford had used since 1987. The CEF will meet more than 90 percent of campus heating demands by capturing almost two-thirds of the waste heat generated by the campus cooling system to produce hot water for the heating system. To make that exchange possible, Stanford has replaced 22 miles of underground pipes and retrofitted 155 buildings to convert the campus from a steam- to hot-water-based system.

The CEF, which also includes a high-voltage substation, is run by a patented “model-predictive-control” software system developed at Stanford that optimizes cost and energy efficiency. The software has the ability to predict hourly campus heating, cooling and grid electricity prices 10 days in advance and then determine when it is most economical to use electricity to operate plant heating and cooling equipment. It also will determine how much hot and cold water to store in the CEF’s water thermal storage tanks for later use.

Operating much like an autopilot on an aircraft, the system continuously monitors plant equipment, predicts campus energy loads and grid electricity prices, and steers the system to optimal efficiency. It also continuously reviews its own performance.

Adaptable system

Stanford’s SESI combines the best of existing heating and cooling technologies of Europe and North America, merged together for the first time ever in the United States. This first-of-its-kind system, differentiated by the combination of technologies employed and the scale of their usage, is designed to meet the university’s energy needs through 2050.

Key partners in building the SESI plant include Whiting-Turner, Affiliated Engineers Inc., ZGF Architects, Johnson Controls Inc. and Siemens.

SESI began supplying campus energy on March 24, simultaneously with the decommissioning of the 30-year-old, natural-gas cogeneration plant, which supplied virtually all of the university’s needs.

The obsolete cogeneration plant, which will be demolished after all useful parts are sold for reuse, was considered remarkably efficient for its time. It produced electricity and recovered and used waste heat from the combustion process for campus heating. But the system also discarded valuable waste heat generated by the campus cooling system. Capturing that discarded heat, which was vented into the atmosphere, is the cornerstone of what makes the new SESI system so efficient.

SESI is designed to take advantage of Northern California’s temperate climate, although the system is adaptable to nearly any environment. As with most modern large commercial facilities, university buildings are being cooled and heated at the same time throughout the year to supply different room-temperature requirements.

In other words, the cooling process can be seen as a collection of unwanted heat. Some modern facilities take advantage of this heat overlap on a stand-alone building basis. SESI, however, takes this approach to an entirely new scale, encompassing a 15-million-square-foot campus with a population of more than 30,000.

“By significantly reducing natural gas usage and electrifying the campus heating and cooling system, we enabled the university’s energy supply to be substantially transitioned from fossil fuels with volatile and unpredictable long-term prices to clean renewable electricity sources with affordable costs fixed for a very long time,” said Joseph Stagner, executive director of Sustainability and Energy Management at Stanford.

Energy and Climate Plan

SESI evolved from a 2008 Energy and Climate Plan that involved the entire university community, including Stanford faculty members whose research focuses on the environment and sustainable energy. Stanford faculty provided substantial guidance and assistance in modeling the new process for energy efficiency, as well as long-term project economics and other key facets of the proposed new system. After this substantial assistance and peer review, university faculty endorsed the proposed new system.

The goals of the Energy and Climate Plan were to reduce Stanford’s carbon emissions, meet long-term energy needs in a sustainable way and create efficiency. Studies conducted as part of the process of creating the plan revealed that more than 80 percent of the university’s heating demands could be met with waste heat already being removed from buildings by the campus cooling system.

The Energy and Climate Plan resulted in a proposal to build SESI, which was approved by Stanford’s Board of Trustees in December 2011. Stanford received approval to begin construction on the CEF in September 2012 from Santa Clara County. Work began immediately, resulting in a complete transformation of the campus energy system in less than two and a half years.

Equally important to the cost savings and emissions reduction is SESI’s capacity to reduce campus water use. Water consumption at the CEF is substantially reduced because a majority of the waste heat from the chilled water loop is reused rather than discharged into the atmosphere.

California suffers from a prolonged drought. Since 2000, Stanford has already reduced by 21 percent its domestic water use through building retrofits and other conservation efforts. With the completion of SESI, Stanford’s water reduction will increase to 36 percent in just 15 years – a substantial savings that will likely help Stanford meet the new California water reduction mandates outlined by Gov. Jerry Brown.

Beyond SESI, Stanford’s ongoing Energy and Climate Action Plan also stresses higher-than-required energy standards for new buildings, major retrofitting of existing buildings and programs to teach students, faculty and staff how to cut back on their energy use. New buildings, for example, are constructed to be 30 percent more energy efficient than required by code.

Many contributions made from key stakeholders made SESI possible. The County of Santa Clara’s General Use Permit (GUP), approved in 2000, foresaw a future where flexibility was needed to capture innovations that could not be imagined 15 years ago. This inherent flexibility within the GUP allowed Stanford to leverage these energy innovations and contribute to the health of our planet. The city of Palo Alto also recognized the significant benefits of this system and approved an amended agreement to allow construction of the Central Energy Facility in the optimal location. Without the contributions of Santa Clara County and Palo Alto, SESI would not exist today.

MetroCast launches 110 Mbps Business Internet Speed

Image

MetroCast Business Services has announced new, faster business-class internet speeds. With the latest boost in speeds, MetroCast now offers modem-based speeds up to 110 Mbps x 10 Mbps.

MetroCast has raised its top business-class internet speed in each of the last five years, and the latest enhancement nearly doubles last year’s top speed.

“Our 110 Mbps business-class internet is more than 15 times faster than standard DSL and is the fastest modem-based internet speed available in the MetroCast service area,” said Josh Barstow, Vice President of Advanced Services for MetroCast. “It’s ideal for businesses and organizations that have demanding data needs and those that want to match high performance with attentive, professional support.”

MetroCast Business Services has increased the top speeds for all four of its modem-based internet packages for businesses–Small Business Internet, Business Internet, Advanced Business Internet, and Professional Internet–with no accompanying increase in cost to customers in the packages.

In addition to its modem-based internet services, MetroCast offers a suite of secure, scalable fiber Ethernet solutions, including Point-to-Point, Point-to-Multi-Point, and Dedicated Internet Access (DIA), with symmetrical data transmissions up to 1 Gbps, as well as advanced business phone and video solutions.

Record Quarter for New Commercial Vehicle Registrations as UK Business Confidence Soars

Image

The success of the UK’s booming commercial vehicle sector will be celebrated at this week’s Commercial Vehicle Show, as the latest SMMT figures reveal a record high for van and truck registrations.

108,456 vans and trucks were registered between January and March 2015 – the best quarter on record – as businesses return to the market in their droves. The latest registration figures come as a huge boost to the sector, which is a bellwether for the UK economy, and which suffered badly during the recession. In 2009, just 221,132 CVs were registered – down from 388,488 in 2007. The past 12 months have seen 384,120 registrations, and demand is expected to remain strong in the months ahead.

The recent surge in registrations reflects an upturn in UK economic confidence. With GDP growing, consumers are spending more on goods and services, and businesses are increasingly ready and able to invest in vehicles to deliver them. Some CV operators are returning to the market having held off new purchases during the recession years while attractive finance offerings from manufacturers are also making it easier to invest in the latest, safest and low emission vehicles.

This new-found confidence will be in evidence at the Commercial Vehicle Show in Birmingham’s NEC this week. The UK’s biggest exhibition of vans and trucks, and Europe’s leading international CV show in 2015, will showcase the newest vehicles on the market, fitted with latest high-tech safety and low emissions systems.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Commercial vehicles are crucial to the functioning of Britain’s economy and these latest figures paint a very encouraging picture. As business confidence grows, demand for the latest vans and trucks is now back to pre-recession levels – outpacing the rest of Europe. This year’s Commercial Vehicle Show promises to mirror this success, with a huge range of new products on show.”

Commercial vehicles play a crucial role in the British economy and in supporting our everyday lives. There are currently some 4.4 million vans and trucks on British roads, delivering 81% of all goods and shifting almost 3,000 tonnes of goods every minute. In 2014 alone, these vehicles covered 61 billion miles in the UK.2

19,000 visitors are expected to visit the Commercial Vehicle show, which will feature exhibits from 450 companies covering the breadth of the industry. Epitomising the renewed confidence across the sector, a range of new products is set to be unveiled at the show, including brand-new vehicles from Citroen, Dacia, Fiat, Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot.

Demand for vans is particularly strong as home deliveries continue to grow in popularity: 97,775 vans have been registered in the past three months – 22.3% up on the same period last year – and annual registrations are now nearing an all-time high.

The UK is also leading the way in Europe. It is the third-biggest market for vans and trucks, and surpassed its two larger rivals, Germany ( 3.4%) and France (-8.1%), for growth in the first two months of the year.3

The strong uptake of the latest commercial vehicles is also positive news for emissions and urban air quality. Since the beginning of 2014, all new trucks have been required to meet the latest European emissions standard known as Euro-6. These vehicles feature filters to capture 99% of particulates and exhaust after treatment systems which drastically reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides. From September this year, all new vans will also have to adhere to the tough Euro-6 standard for light duty vehicles.

Sprint Revolutionizes Wireless Shopping Experience

Image

Sprint today will transform forever the way customers buy or upgrade their mobile phones, tablets and other connected devices with the introduction of Sprint Direct 2 You.

“By bringing the in-store experience directly to customers, we can make that change painless, worry-free and do it in the comfort of a location where the customer wants it.”

Sprint is bringing an in-store experience to the comfort of a customer’s own home, office or other location they choose with this innovative service that is unlike anything else in wireless today. With Sprint Direct 2 You, a Sprint-trained expert will bring a Sprint mobile device to a customer’s location, set it up and transfer all of their content, including contacts, pictures, videos and apps, from their old device to a new one. The experience also includes the Sprint expert performing a tutorial and offering tips to help the customer become familiar with using the new mobile device.

Sprint developed this service based on customer research and insights that clearly indicated the need for a revolutionary service like this one.

This new service is expected to place about 5,000 Sprint Direct 2 You cars in major metropolitan areas by the end of the year to make wireless shopping more convenient.

“With our new Sprint Direct 2 You fleet of cars, it’s as if we are adding 5,000 additional stores,” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said. “However, these mobile stores will be continuously on the move based on customer demand.”

Time is the most precious asset for current and future Sprint customers who find it inconvenient to visit a store. Others have shared that they are reluctant to order online and receive a new device at home because it is challenging to start using it without help. It’s not easy to transfer the contacts, pictures, videos, apps and other content from an old device to a new one. Setting up a new phone and learning how to use new features also can be difficult, and these functions are usually performed in a store. Sprint teams listened to these customer concerns and invented Sprint Direct 2 You, transforming the way American wireless consumers will shop for smartphones and other mobile devices.

“We’re constantly listening to our customers, and we learn from them what they want in a great wireless phone experience so that we can remove their pain points,” Claure said. “As a result, we created Sprint Direct 2 You, a whole new way of buying wireless. With Direct 2 You, Sprint brings an amazing, convenient in-store experience directly to the customer – in the comfort of wherever they want to be. Customers will never have to worry about transferring their own data or being handed a device they do not know how to use.”

The national roll-out of Sprint Direct 2 You begins today in Sprint’s home town – the Kansas City metropolitan area – for upgrade-eligible customers. On April 20, Sprint Direct 2 You will be available in the Chicago and Miami markets, with expansion nationally expected to follow throughout 2015.

Here’s how it works:

·         Qualified customers receive an offer via text or email to upgrade their phone.

·         Customers call the Sprint phone number in the text or email to take advantage of the offer and schedule an appointment for this free service.1

·         A Direct 2 You Expert arrives when and where the customer requests, sets up and activates the new phone, transferring all contacts and data from the old phone, then personalizes the new device to the customer’s specifications.

·         Customers can choose to turn in their old phones for recycling or reuse.

The Sprint experts are particularly skilled in helping customers make the switch from a phone using the Android operating system to one running on Apple’s iOS, or vice versa. While this can be a complex process, the expert will manage it to make it easy for the customer.

“We take for granted that it is easy to switch between different types of phones, but it actually is very complex,” Claure said. “By bringing the in-store experience directly to customers, we can make that change painless, worry-free and do it in the comfort of a location where the customer wants it.”

Sprint Direct 2 You is one more way the company is inviting wireless consumers to discover Sprint and experience what tens of millions of Sprint customers already know:

·         Sprint offers the Best Value in Wireless with compelling rate plans, including Cut Your Bill in Half and device purchasing options such as iPhone for Life Plan or the recently launched Unlimited Plus Plan that allows customers to upgrade their mobile phones every year.

·         The Sprint network’s performance continues to improve, providing significantly better call quality and faster data speeds in a growing number of places. According to independent mobile analytics firm RootMetrics®, results for second half 2014 show Sprint with the highest net gain in first-place or shared first-place RootScore® and network award wins in Overall Performance, Reliability, Call and Text performance.

GreenPath Announces 2015 Personal Finance Library Programs

Image

GreenPath Debt Solutions, a nationwide non-profit credit counseling and education organization, is partnering with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), to bring free financial education to libraries across the country.

The “CFPB Community Financial Education Project” has matched up local non-profit credit counseling educators and public libraries to provide residents with free personal finance workshops.

GreenPath has scheduled more than 30 programs at libraries in six states (New York, Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, andTexas) in April, May and June. This initiative will provide consumers with reliable, unbiased financial information and tools at convenient public library locations.

“At GreenPath, we think it is vital to go into the communities we serve to provide personal finance programs,” said GreenPath President and CEO Jane McNamara. “These free library programs are another way we can help people better understand budgeting, credit reports, identity theft prevention, and more.”