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Case Study: Driving Member Satisfaction and Lowering Costs

Posted By Karen Morris, Thursday, April 27, 2017
https://vimeo.com/213870996/c8b1752764

Just published this week, Driving Member Satisfaction and Lowering Costs with Personal Video Messaging - The study features Apogee's personalized bill analysis videos provided by Old Dominion Electric Cooperative to 5 member cooperatives. The results are outstanding. Read the attached or learn more at http://www.apogee.net/case-studies/

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Tags:  Apogee Interactive  customer Engagement  digital engagement  Energy Efficiency 

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Frischmann, Laursen, O'Neill Become Newest Owners at Michaels Energy

Posted By Brittany Simonson (Schmoll), Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Michaels Energy is excited to announce it has expanded company ownership to include three key employees - Mike Frischmann, Kristin Laursen, and Eric O'Neill. These new owners join current shareholders, Jeff Ihnen, Scott Siefkes, Bryce Dvorak and Ryan Kroll.

The new owners are part of the next generation of company leaders in the Michaels Energy ownership transition process. Frischmann, Laursen, and O'Neill have each been with the company for nearly a decade or more, and have demonstrated indispensable skills and commitment to driving Michaels Energy toward profitability and growth.

"I am excited to continue working with Michaels’ excellent clients and staff as we move into a new era of ownership," said Scott Siefkes, Chief Operating Officer at Michaels Energy. "I am confident that the new group of owners will continue the hard work and dedication that has been demonstrated by our current and former owners."

The owner/employee model allows Michaels to pursue the type of work its employees are passionate about while staying relevant and forward-thinking in an ever-changing industry.

"This is our third generation of owners. The efficiency landscape has been drastically different each time," said Jeff Ihnen, Michaels' Chief Executive Officer. "First, we saw a rapidly growing local (state) efficiency environment. The second generation launched as utility deregulation rolled out and efficiency had scaled way back. Since then, efficiency grew large and it has stabilized [to an eerie calm]. We see upheaval on the horizon and we are excited to see opportunities present themselves as well matched for our capabilities."

To learn more about Michaels Energy or their new generation of leaders, visit michaelsenergy.com.

Tags:  company leaders  Energy Efficiency  Eric O'Neill  Kristin Laursen  leaders  Michaels  Michaels Energy  Mike Frischmann 

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Customer Co-Pays: Driving Faster Adoption of New Technologies Without Breaking the Bank

Posted By Jamie Delk, Tuesday, April 11, 2017

CFLs and programmable thermostats have had success. Both have increased in market share and continue to gain momentum. Newer, and higher priced, measures like LEDs and smart thermostats show significant savings potential but need a co-pay to support initial rollouts.

Click here to read the full blog post and download the eBook.  http://bit.ly/2orCAYd 

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Tags:  copay  co-pay  customer satisfaction  energy  Energy Efficiency  energy efficiency programs  franklin energ  Franklin Energy  Franklin Energy Services  Franklin Energy Services LLC  results  technology 

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5 Types of Operational & Behavioral Energy Efficiency Programs Every Utility Should Know About

Posted By Mark Gentry, Wednesday, April 5, 2017

As the market for commercial energy efficiency programs matures, utilities across North America are investing in deeper and more comprehensive methods of maximizing energy savings for their business customers. Operational and behavioral based savings — which account for 30-50 percent of the total savings potential in commercial buildings — represent one of the most significant growth areas.

But engaging commercial customers requires a sophisticated understanding of their diverse needs. Large customers use 100x more energy than small businesses, and both groups span dozens of verticals and business segments. Bringing the right set of operational and behavioral solutions to these customers requires programs that are built for the needs of each segment – and more importantly, drives the action required to accomplish their savings objectives.

Even among industry leaders, you’ll find a wide range of differing information about the definition and function of various behavioral and operational programs. The below infographic identifies the most frequently seen offerings in the market today, their respective level of maturity and complexity, and the customer segments each program is best suited for.



Whether it’s optimizing building controls or steering business practice changes, operational and behavioral-based energy efficiency programs targeting the C&I sector require a diverse suite of services reflecting the unique characteristics and needs of each customer group. Energy analytics can support customer segmentation and engagement strategies across all these programs, enabling utilities to scale customer savings and participation across hundreds of thousands of businesses. By combining these approaches with integrated demand-side management solutions, energy providers are poised to accelerate energy efficiency adoption at a high volume, while holistically improving each customer’s energy use.

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Tags:  behavioral  commercial and industrial  commercial programs  operational programs 

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The Secret of the Promise Maker

Posted By Jamie Delk, Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but I have the easiest job in the world. I am a Promise Maker. In leading business development efforts over the past decade, the recipe is fairly simple: meet potential clients, listen to their challenges, understand their priorities, and assure them we can solve their problems and help them realize their goals. The proposals and finalist presentations we deliver to potential clients are just that: promises made.

To continue reading the full blog post, click here.  

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Tags:  energy  Energy Efficiency  energy efficiency implementer  Expert  Franklin Energy  Franklin Energy Group  Franklin Energy Services  Franklin Energy Services LLC  Goals  Integrity  Promises 

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Movin’ On Up(stream): Utility Water Heater Programs

Posted By Mark Gentry, Thursday, March 23, 2017

Electric water heaters represent a significant untapped energy savings opportunity for utility retail programs. Driving higher market penetration of efficient water heaters is particularly important as other sources of savings in the residential sector sunset. However, consumers virtually never proactively seek an energy-efficient water heater. Roughly 90 percent of water heater purchases are related to external circumstances (e.g., emergency replacement, remodeling, new home), and 72 percent of consumers shop at just one store before making a purchase.

Since most residential customers are not actively searching for high-efficiency water heaters, they are not prepared to buy one when it fails. Those that do purchase incentive-eligible equipment often have high rebate breakage rates, forgoing the extra steps of submitting rebate forms after their equipment is installed.

With low market penetration and underperforming water heater rebates, how can utilities convert these panicked product buying cycles into long-lasting program savings that improve customer satisfaction?

An upstream model overcomes some of the challenges and realities of downstream and midstream retail approaches by shifting the incentive from the customer to the manufacturer, while still putting some money back in the customer’s pocket. New upstream program designs emphasize strong manufacturer relationships and easy transfer of data, so utilities can still gain insights into their customers’ actions and adoption of products.

In close collaboration with retailers, upstream programs incent manufacturers to influence both the prices and market availability of efficient water heaters. This drives more high-efficiency equipment into the market while making them more price-competitive with non-efficient alternatives. In a typical scenario, an efficient water heater could save a household of four about $3,500 over the lifetime of the equipment compared to a standard electric heater, with an average payback period of only two years. So customers can invest in energy efficiency today and enjoy the savings tomorrow.

With the right program design, utilities can persuade customers to purchase cost-effective, efficient water heaters and secure savings, enabling rapid market transformation across the supply chain.

Upstream Retail Water Heater Programs

Laying the groundwork with water heaters today will have benefits beyond energy efficiency tomorrow. Water heaters are no longer just a collection of metal containers and pipes. Many are becoming increasingly ‘smart’ and connected, which opens additional opportunities for utilities to have a continuous dialogue with their customers, such as engaging them in demand response programs and educating them on energy saving opportunities. This type of connectivity and increased customer adoption can also proactively alert customers of issues and diagnose them ahead of failure, breaking the cycle of emergency replacements (one example can be found here).

What do you think of upstream water heater retail programs and how they are being leveraged by utilities? If you have any questions or thoughts we’d love to hear from you – reach out to us today.

Read more: https://www.ecova.com/blog/2017/03/movin-upstream-utility-water-heater-programs/

1 How to Increase the Market Penetration of HPWH
2 Save Money and More with ENERGY STAR® Certified Heat Pump Water Heaters

Tags:  Residential Programs 

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Educating customers an essential element of Columbia Water & Light’s new partnership with Apogee

Posted By Karen Morris, Tuesday, March 21, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ATLANTA (March 21, 2017) – Columbia Water & Light has selected Apogee Interactive to provide new customer engagement technologies to its customers to help them understand how behaviors, appliances and thermostat settings can impact their energy bill.

The municipal utility serving Columbia, Mo., began this month implementing Apogee’s Energy Advisor Enterprise, which includes the Energy Forecaster and Bill Analysis applications along with personalized messages and alerts for customers. Columbia Water & Light chose Apogee because its solutions would be the most intuitive and easiest for customers to use, according to Jim Windsor, Assistance Director of Columbia Water & Light. The personalized video messaging for customers was also a key selling point, said Windsor.

“Many customers don’t understand how personnel decisions and weather impact their bill,” said Windsor.  “We believe the Apogee solution will engage customers and act as an extension of our energy efficiency and rebate programs.”

Columbia includes the University of Missouri and other colleges, which results in a customer base made up of many younger adults, some of whom are first-time utility customers. Columbia officials believe engaging their customers with new technologies is essential to delivering a positive customer experience and helping educate those customers. The customer engagement tools included in the Energy Advisor Enterprise will help direct customers to other efficiency and energy management programs and services when they go to their utility’s website, thus allowing the utility to save its advertising dollars previously spent to promote these programs or reallocate those funds to other communication needs.

Columbia’s customer service representatives will also be able to rely on Energy Advisor when customers call with questions about their energy usage.

“Our Energy Advisor has been helping hundreds of utilities for more than two decades, which gives us great insight to what customers need and expect from their utility,” said Susan Gilbert, President, and CEO of Apogee. “With our latest addition of proactive, personalized messaging, we look forward to helping Columbia Water & Light engage and educate their customers.” 

About Columbia Water & Light

Columbia Water & Light is the municipal utility governed by the City of Columbia, Mo. It was formed by voter approval in 1904. Since that time, the utility has been furnishing Columbians with low cost, reliable electricity and high quality water. Columbia Water & Light serves more than 49,000 customers.  

About Apogee Interactive

Apogee Interactive is the nation’s leading provider of customer engagement technology for utilities. Partnering with utilities since 1993, Apogee’s digital engagement platform delivers proactive, personalized communication to residential and commercial customers nationwide. Apogee’s proven SaaS platform enables more meaningful customer engagement, proven sustainable energy results, reduced operating costs, and improved program performance for utilities. For more information, please visit www.apogee.net. Follow us on Twitter at @apoweb and on Linkedin. 

Apogee Contact: Karen Morris – 678-684-6801 – kmorris@apogee.net

Tags:  Apogee Interactive  customer engagement 

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John Bailes Named President of AM Conservation Group

Posted By Danielle Marquis, Thursday, March 9, 2017

Charleston, SC – March 9, 2017 - AM Conservation Group, a leading provider of utility-grade energy efficiency and water conservation products, today announced the promotion of John Bailes to President. In addition to providing strategic leadership, establishing long-range goals, and planning, he will also continue to have a deep involvement with the most important part of the business – serving clients.

“AM Conservation Group has seen great success helping all people use our world’s most precious resources more efficiently – and John has been a key part of the company’s achievements,” said Paul Schueller, CEO of the holding company.  “John’s promotion to President is a direct reflection of our expert culture. His wide-ranging expertise of the AM Conservation Group organization makes him a fully ingrained, knowledgeable leader who will ensure a seamless transition for all involved. We are thrilled to see him in this role.”

Bailes joined the company in 2006 and was most recently Vice President of Sales for the business.  He received a BS in Business Administration from the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. He is also an active member of the Association of Energy Services Professionals.

“While leading our sales efforts, I’ve been fortunate to work with experts across all areas of AM Conservation Group – from operations to marketing to finance,” said Bailes.  “In my new role, I look forward to working more closely with this amazing team and doing my part to carry on the company’s success.”

About AM Conservation Group

AM Conservation Group is a leading provider of energy- and water-saving products, kits, online stores and educational programs to utilities, municipalities, cooperatives and large corporations throughout North America. They manufacture and distribute nearly 400 utility-grade energy efficiency and water conservation products, which are custom engineered to provide superior performance and maximum savings at an accessible price point. Most of AM Conservation Group’s products have earned the EPA’s Watersense® and ENERGY STAR® certifications. Since 1989, they have developed and managed thousands of successful product, kit and education programs throughout North America.  AM Conservation Group includes the Service Concepts and Simply Conserve brands, and features Niagara Conservation’s line of energy efficiency and water products. For more information, visit www.amconservationgroup.com.

 

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Lakeland Electric deploys full suite of Apogee Interactive Customer Engagement Tools

Posted By Karen Morris, Thursday, March 9, 2017

Florida municipal utility the first to launch integrated EMPOWER suite of apps as it encourages customers to “Beat the Peak”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

ATLANTA and LAKELAND, Fla. (March 9, 2017) – Lakeland Electric has launched the Apogee Interactive EMPOWER Platform suite of customer engagement applications to help its customers better understand their energy usage and give them choices in how they interact with their utility.

In conjunction with the launch of a new consumer-friendly website, Lakeland Electric chose the EMPOWER Platform because it puts utility customers in control of their energy consumption by recommending the most appropriate electric pricing plans, showing them how their personal behaviors as well as the weather impact electric bills, alerting them when their energy usage hits a certain level, and giving them detailed electric usage data by integrating with Lakeland Electric’s smart meter system.  By getting customers to be more efficient and thoughtful about their energy usage now, Lakeland Electric can help offset future generation costs and keep customer rates among the lowest in Florida.

These new digital channels will serve as the foundation for Lakeland Electric’s “Beat the Peak” promotional campaign aimed at educating customers and offering the pricing and service options. Lakeland Electric chose Apogee Interactive because its EMPOWER suite offered all of these tools wrapped into one solution with a level of personalized customer interaction unique to the industry.

“Lakeland Electric is advancing our customer’s knowledge, choice, and involvement through technology,” said Dave Kus, Assistant General Manager of Customer Service at Lakeland Electric. “The new analytical tools on our website allow us to introduce our customers to the utility of the future and empower them to be the energy consumers of the future.”

“We are honored to be working with Lakeland Electric in helping them further their customer engagement strategy,” said Susan Gilbert, President, CEO and Co-Founder of Apogee Interactive. “This is the first instance of a utility launching our fully integrated EMPOWER suite of applications on one platform, and Lakeland Electric’s approach in seeking to empower their customers is industry-leading. We are pleased to be their partner.” 

The EMPOWER Platform incorporates a variety of Apogee’s technology allowing customers to conduct personalized digital energy audits using online calculators, receive energy usage and billing alerts via text, email and video messaging, get price plan recommendations based on their usage history, receive a home efficiency rating and a variety of educational content. Utility employees also benefit by accessing the tools to help them answer questions when handling a customer interaction. EMPOWER includes Apogee’s Energy Advisor, Energy Envoy, Energy Auditor, CSR Bill Analysis, and Home EnergyLibraryTM and other applications.

About Lakeland Electric

Lakeland Electric is the third-largest public power utility in the State of Florida serving 126,000 customers with production capability of over 1100 Megawatts. The utility is also one of the first utilities established in Florida having started operation in 1889.

About Apogee Interactive

Apogee Interactive is the nation’s leading provider of customer engagement technology for utilities. Partnering with utilities since 1993, Apogee’s digital engagement platform delivers proactive, personalized communication to residential and commercial customers nationwide. Apogee’s proven SaaS platform enables more meaningful customer engagement, proven sustainable energy results, reduced operating costs, and improved program performance for utilities. For more information, please visit www.apogee.net. Follow us on Twitter at @apoweb and on Linkedin. 

Apogee Contact: Karen Morris – 678-684-6801 – kmorris@apogee.net

Lakeland Electric Contact: Cindy Clemmons – 863-430-1368 – cindy.clemmons@lakelandelectric.com

 

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Apogee’s Customer Engagement Solutions Now on a Single Platform

Posted By Karen Morris, Wednesday, February 8, 2017

 

Apogee will showcase the Empower Platform new product launch at AESP National next week. Visit booth 200 and www.apogee.net to learn more.

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Tags:  customer engagement digital  Energy Analysis  Residential Programs 

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