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Tierra Resource Consultants Promotes Matthew Joyce to Director

Posted By Meg Matt, Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Tierra Resource Consultants
Promotes Matthew Joyce to Director

 

 WALNUT CREEK, CA, (DATE Nov. 13, 2018)—Tierra Resource Consultants LLC (www.tierrararc.com) announces the promotion of Matthew Joyce to director. Mr. Joyce has more than 18 years of demand side management experience, including strategic advising, market assessment, utility portfolio and program design, process and impact evaluation, and customer experience and behavior studies. Much of his present work focuses on utility program and portfolio optimization helping utilities adapt to changing and increasingly complex market demands driven by new technologies, customer choices, and regulatory requirements.

 

 “Matthew plays a key role on the Tierra team in a variety of areas, including our work on the development and launch of our DER and electrification advising work areas,” said Principal and Co-founder Marshall Keneipp.

 

 Prior to joining Tierra in 2016, Mr. Joyce served as lead process evaluator for Duke Energy’s residential and commercial EE and DR programs in the utility’s five-state service territory. He also managed numerous research and consulting projects for dozens of utilities, Fortune 500 companies, and local, state and federal bodies, while working as the research director of E Source.

               

Before joining the energy industry, he worked for Stanford University and the University of California.  Mr. Joyce holds a B.A. in Journalism and Public Policy from the University of California

 

For more information about Tierra’s programs and services, please contact matthew.joyce@tierrarc.com.

              

Tierra Resource Consultants LLC (Tierra) is a certified small business organization with offices in California and Arizona.

 

Tags:  Tierra Resource Consultants 

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Performance Metrics Gone Wild!

Posted By Karen Morris, Thursday, November 8, 2018

 

I recently had a conversation with a utility executive who informed me of an unbelievable occurrence.  He had discovered that customers calling the contact center questioning a high bill were being recommended to have an in-house energy audit rather than receiving an answer to their question; the appropriate answer was the summer temperature had increased from the previous month and there were more days in the billing cycle.  The reason for this occurrence was that the contact center representatives were being measured on the typical and well-known metrics such as first call resolution, average handle time and number of calls answered.  The easiest path to meeting these metrics was to pass the customer along to another department.  When speaking with another utility executive I heard the same story and then another executive conveyed the same message.

Referring a customer to a field audit does have some positive benefits such as increased customer engagement, and if the auditor does discover a defect in the home, it will improve customer satisfaction.  However, the down-side to the contact center representatives’ actions most likely outweigh the potential benefits.  First, from a customer’s point of view, the question was not answered; the inquiry was merely deferred.  Second are the financial ramifications; the cost of a call is typically between $7.50 and $12.50- the cost of a field audit is typically between $250 and $300.  Using the 6x to 8x expense to revenue multiple from my previous article, the cost of the frivolous field audit erased the entire annual revenue generated by the customer. Third, from an operational efficiency standpoint, it is much more efficient to recommend that a customer use an on-line self-service tool rather than calling the contact center or requesting a field audit; digitally engaged customer are 20% more satisfied than non-digitally engaged consumers.

The Apogee suite of solutions are designed to specifically answer these customer inquiries either directly by the customer via a utility website or by a CSR.

 

About The Author

Jim Malcom, Chief Financial Officer and EVP of APOGEE Interactive, Inc.

 

Jim Malcom is Chief Operating Officer of Apogee Interactive, Inc., providing oversight business and financial operations of the company. His senior management experience in the telecommunications and management consulting industries is providing strategic direction for Apogee’s continued growth and success.

Malcom brings more than 20 years in corporate finance and accounting to Apogee, which began with the firms KPMG and Ernst & Young in Atlanta. His career steadily expanded to include senior posts as chief financial officer, corporate controller, vice president and treasurer for such area companies as Heidelberg USA, LecStar Telecom and Powertel.

He is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in business administration, a certified public accountant, and a chartered global management accountant.

 

 

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Tags:  Apogee Interactive  Cost reduction  Customer Engagement 

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New Navigant report: Bring Your Own Device DSM Programs for Utilities and Retail Energy Suppliers

Posted By Brett Feldman, Thursday, November 8, 2018

Bring Your Own Device DSM Programs for Utilities and Retail Energy Suppliers: Smart Thermostats, Hot Water Heaters, and Appliances, Energy Storage, and EVs and EV Supply Equipment: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts

https://www.navigantresearch.com/reports/bring-your-own-device-dsm-programs-for-utilities-and-retail-energy-suppliers

The global electric power industry is shifting away from centralized power generation toward a mix of distributed energy resources (DER) and smart energy management solutions. Known as the Energy Cloud, this shift positions the bring your own device (BYOD) market to allow customers to take advantage of a diverse range of smart, grid-interactive technologies. Such solutions enable customers to manage their energy consumption while maintaining optimal comfort.

BYOD refers to utility and non-utility programs that allow customers to purchase their own pre-approved, grid-responsive devices from a vendor. Customers can integrate the technology into demand response (DR) or energy efficiency programs managed through the utility, an energy supplier, or a third-party systems integrator. Three fundamental shifts are taking place as BYOD programs continue to grow across North America and enter markets worldwide. First, devices beyond thermostats are increasingly communicating with the electric power grid. BYOD broadens the range of consumer technologies eligible to participate in programs. Second, the broader BYOD programs are exploring the energy efficiency applications of bring your own thermostat (BYOT) programs. Third, BYOD programs are expanding to include retail choice electricity suppliers in deregulated markets and energy service providers.

This Navigant Research report examines the global BYOD market, with a focus on smart thermostats, hot water heaters and appliances, energy storage, EVs, and EV supply equipment. The report explores the market issues related to BYOD devices, including drivers, barriers, and trends, to highlight regional activities and programs. Global market forecasts, segmented by device type and region, extend through 2027. The report also analyzes utility and non-utility BYOD business models and shares case studies of BYOD programs incorporating various technologies in North America.

Tags:  customer engagement  DERs  Distributed Energy Resources  DSM  Energy Efficiency 

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Oklahoma Electric Cooperative Strengthens Member Relationships With Apogee’s Bill Alerts

Posted By Karen Morris, Tuesday, October 23, 2018

For Immediate Release:

Atlanta, GA  Today in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative’s Manager of Marketing and Member Services, Autumn McMahon, and Apogee Interactive’s Account Manager, Stephanie Knight, presented OEC’s case study at Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperative’s Public Relations / Member Relations fall conference. This year’s conference focuses on how utilities can use big data to better inform and engage members.

Since the onset of mandatory TOU rates in 2013 and impending rate increases, Oklahoma Electric Cooperative realized it was crucial to help members better understand their bills. Ms. McMahon was instrumental in launching OEC’s member education campaign, knowing members needed relevant and proactive communications.

McMahon shared her strategy for building strong member relationships, reducing the need to make bill inquiry calls, and educating OEC members on ways to save energy. The pilot program she launched this year included mid-cycle bill alerts letting customers know in advance what their bills were forecasted to be while there is still time to influence them.  It also included links to a home energy audit that lets members profile their home and receive tips on saving money.  Beginning in January of 2018 with a soft launch sending 1,400 mid-cycle email alerts, the program has grown to more than 153,000 bill alerts containing links to the online audit the energy audit calculator and other energy education resources.

Results were remarkable!  Recipients reported these statistics:

  • 92% want to continue to receive the email alerts.
  • 94% rated alerts very or somewhat useful.
  • Email open rates were well above expected, averaging 42%.

“These messages are thoughtfully helpful during peak periods of usage & can help us prepare (plan to save ahead) for high peak periods if necessary! THANK YOU for considering our situations & ideas. It will help ALL of us!” OEC Member

“I love getting this information. Please don't stop.” OEC Member

During the program, the online energy audit was used to make 11,470 calculations increasing the number of home profiles. OEC is using the data collected in the home profile combined with AMI data to further personalize and target members for programs and rebate offers.

According to McMahon, “The best part of this program is my team doesn’t do the leg work.  We have a 30-minute call once a month with the Apogee team.” Putting the member in control of their energy use and taking away the surprise of a higher than normal bill is building stronger relationships with members and starting meaningful conversations.

About Apogee Interactive:

Apogee Interactive is a woman-owned business and is the nation’s leading full-service provider of proactive customer engagement software services for utilities. As a partner with the utility industry since 1993, Apogee’s digital engagement platform delivers proactive and personalized communication to hundreds of North American utilities from coast to coast, including some of the largest and most progressive, such as Southern Company, Lakeland Electric, and Jackson EMC. For more information visit www.apogee.net or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/99046/.

About OEC:

Oklahoma Electric Cooperative is the state’s largest member-owned electric cooperative and provides electricity to over 44,000 members and 55,000 accounts in seven central Oklahoma counties. The service area includes approximately 2,200 square miles and 5,500 miles of line.

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Tags:  Apogee Interactive  communicating rates  customer engagement  TOU 

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Nexant Sets Industry Milestone for Rebate Processing and Customer Service

Posted By Katy McSurdy, Friday, October 19, 2018

99% of rebate applications processed in less than one week, industry-leading 5-second average speed of answer

SALT LAKE CITY, UT, October 18, 2018—Nexant’s Rebate Processing and Customer Care Center set an industry milestone in 2018 by processing and fulfilling 99% of utility program rebate applications in less than one week, dramatically reducing the industry standard processing time of 6-8 weeks. Nexant is working closely with multiple utility clients to achieve same-day application processing for post-purchase customer programs including residential, low income, upstream, business, small business, retro-commissioning, and new construction.

Nexant’s Rebate Processing and Customer Care Center in Salt Lake City has developed smart processes using Nexant’s iEnergy software platform to enable efficient onboarding for new utility programs; rapid deployment of processing, call center, and check issuance services; and an environment of continuous improvement. As a result, Nexant is now providing an unprecedented level of service for 26 utility partners, and 77 customer facing programs.

“We recently began work with three new utility customers based on our industry-leading proficiency and the expertise of our Salt Lake City team,” said Brad Pierce, Vice President of Utility Services. Nexant has significantly increased staff for call center and customer care services to support new utility clients, and expects total growth to be over 40% by the end of the year.

“We are very excited to offer industry-leading performance in rebate management, application processing, and call center services to utility clients. Enhancing and strengthening engagement with customers on behalf of utilities is a strategic, long-term focus for Nexant. Utilities that employ our software platforms and the Rebate Processing and Customer Care Center in Salt Lake City benefit from rapid rebate payment timelines, nearly instantaneous access to live representatives, and improved customer satisfaction,” said John Gustafson, CEO of Nexant.

Nexant’s iEnergy software platform, rebate management, and customer care services range from concierge-level customer service to energy program outreach, feedback surveys, and application processing and assistance. Nexant maintains call services in excess of industry standards and provides a 5-second average speed of answer and less than 2% abandon rate across all customer service queues.

About Nexant

Nexant is a premier provider of technology enabled solutions to the Utility and Energy Industry focused on the next generation intelligent grid, distributed energy resources, and the digital customer experience. Operating from 25 offices in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, the company's team of industry professionals has completed more than 5,000 engagements in over 70 countries. Nexant’s customers include over 120+ utilities, energy organizations, and transmission and distribution system operators. We work with 50+ iEnergy software customers and 300+ chemical and petroleum majors, financial institutions, and Fortune 500 companies. If you would like more information about this topic, please call Clair Sweeney at 801.639.5601 or email at csweeney@nexant.com. www.nexant.com

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Tags:  call center  customer experience  Energy Efficiency  press release 

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Apogee Builds Solutions to Move Utilities from EE and DR to Electrification

Posted By Karen Morris, Thursday, September 13, 2018

Jim Albert CTO Interview from Apogee Interactive on Vimeo.

 Helping Utilities Turn Challenges into Opportunities

For Immediate Release:

Atlanta GA, September 13, 2018. The team at Apogee Interactive has identified several significant challenges facing utilities today. Apogee’s utility visionaries have combined their insight to the energy industry with client feedback to create new capabilities offered in their latest feature pack release set for September 25th.

Lead by Chief Software Architect, Joel Gilbert and Chief Technology Officer, Jim Albert, Apogee’s development team has focused on ways of effectively communicating the complicated topic of solar, net metering, new rate structures, and the impact of electric vehicles. Apogee is helping utilities move from energy efficiency and demand response towards customer engagement, operational efficiencies, and beneficial electrification.

For many years, outside of their whole-house cost and savings analyzer, Apogee has offered specialized tools for helping customers understand the cost impacts of solar, EVs, and various alternative electric rates.  But customers usually pay one bill and don’t think of these as separate issues.  This release wraps them all together and lets customers model whatever scenarios they are considering.

Gilbert explained, “Our solar module predicts the actual solar generation and add that back into the net metered results when analyzing the customers energy use.” Adding, “Whether they are looking at roof-top or community solar programs, customers can use our new release to get a realistic and un-biased estimate of solar production and cost impacts for their homes.”

Apogee has provided analysis for electric vehicles for many years, but this release is designed to help utilities promote electric vehicle adoption by showing realistic side-by-side savings predictions. The module will be included in the overall home energy analysis.

The big Feature Pack reveal is being presented in a series of webinars scheduled for September 25th and 27thWatch this short video with Jim Albert, to learn more.

About Apogee Interactive:

Apogee Interactive is the nation’s leading full-service provider of proactive customer engagement software services for utilities. Serving the utility industry since 1993, Apogee’s digital engagement platform is used by hundreds of North American utilities from coast to coast, including some of the largest and most progressive, such as Southern Company, Consolidated Edison, Lakeland Electric, and Jackson EMC. For more information visit www.apogee.net  or on LinkedIn.

 Media Contact: Karen Morris, 678-684-6801 or kmorris@apogee.net

 

 

  

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Tags:  Apogee Interactive  customer engagement  Electri  Energy Efficiency Experts of Tomorrow  solar 

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Apogee Announces Enhancements to Engagement Platform

Posted By Karen Morris, Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Apogee Addresses Utility Clients’ Needs in New Feature Pack

Atlanta, GA September 5, 2018, Apogee Interactive’s Chief Technology Officer, Jim Albert, announced today that his team is releasing new, cutting-edge features that enhance and expand Apogee’s current software offerings. This feature pack release will be available to existing and new clients on September 25, 2018.  New features help utilities address today’s most challenging topics, including communicating solar options, net metering, electric vehicles, new rate structures, and adding more personalized videos to the outbound messaging platform.

Mr. Albert explained, “Apogee knows the energy industry.  We listen intently to our clients’ needs.” He added, “Issues around community solar, electric vehicles, and communicating new rates have been top of mind this year, and the success of Personal Video Messaging has led to an explosive expansion of our video library.”

Apogee will share details of the of the 2018 feature pack in a series of webinars on September 25th and 27th.  

About Apogee Interactive:

Apogee Interactive is the nation’s leading full-service provider of proactive customer engagement software services for utilities. Serving the utility industry since 1993, Apogee’s comprehensive digital engagement platform is used by hundreds of North American utilities from coast to coast, including some of the largest and most progressive, such as Southern Company, Lakeland Electric, and Jackson EMC. For more information visit www.apogee.net  or on LinkedIn.

 

 Media Contact: Karen Morris, 678-684-6801 or kmorris@apogee.net

Tags:  Apogee Interactive  Customer Engagement  Customer Engagement Energy Efficiency  Electric Vehicles  Residential Programs  Solar 

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Blue Line Innovations announces the EnergyCloud skill for Amazon Alexa.

Posted By Steve Dodds, Friday, August 31, 2018

August 13th, 2018, Ottawa, Canada – Blue Line Innovations, a leader in innovative home energy management is pleased to announce the release of the EnergyCloud skill for Amazon Alexa.

Alexa is a cloud-based voice service from Amazon. Alexa is the brain behind Amazon Echo and other Alexa-enabled devices. Using Alexa is as simple as asking a question—just ask, and Alexa will respond instantly.

Making Energy Monitoring Easier – Using the EnergyCloud skill for Amazon Alexa enables users to easily and conveniently access their real-time electricity consumption status with simple phrases like “Alexa ask EnergyCloud how much electricity I’m using”.  Combined with the simple and cost-effective Do-It-Yourself EnergyCloud hardware, consumers can now get convenient, real-time access to their electricity usage information rather than wait for their electricity bill to arrive.

According to Blue Line’s President & CTO, Gerry O’Brien ….. “Our goal is to make energy monitoring as easy and convenient as possible and the key is to provide users with interfaces that are natural and that provide the important information they need quickly.  Our EnergyCloud skill for Amazon Alexa does just that.  Now, in just seconds, EnergyCloud users can keep informed about their electricity consumption and how much it is costing them.”

Alexa users can find the EnergyCloud skill in the Skills section of the Alexa app.

 

About Blue Line Innovations;

Founded in 2004, Blue Line is a leader in innovative home energy management providing the best user engagement driven by real-time energy consumption information. With over 350,000 home installations across 100+ Utilities in North America, Blue Line is an established and proven provider of industry leading technology for home energy management.

 

Contact:

Steve Dodds 

VP, Sales and Business Development  sdodds@bluelineinnovations.com

Mobile: (613) 583-4679

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Tags:  Energy Efficiency  Energy Management 

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Blue Line Innovations unveils the next generation of EnergyCloud.

Posted By Steve Dodds, Friday, August 31, 2018

 August 8th, 2018, Ottawa, Canada – Blue Line Innovations, a leader in innovative home energy management, has unveiled its innovative next generation EnergyCloud platform for the residential and light commercial markets. The patented solution provides anywhere, anytime, relevant, real time energy consumption information and provides whole home and appliance level reporting. The meter agnostic, universal, solution provides ultimate flexibility working on mechanical, digital and smart meters.

Easy to Install, Low Cost Solution - Unlike other products in the industry, Blue Line’s EnergyCloud solution is truly an easy, Do-It-Yourself installation and does not require an electrician. This cuts the total cost of ownership to less than half of other competitor’s products and provides a much faster return on investment (ROI).

Flexibility and Simplicity – The EnergyCloud Meter Sensor is meter agnostic and autosenses meter types while providing very granular data (15-second) and enables advanced applications such as non-intrusive load monitoring (NILM). There is no wiring required into the home’s electrical panel and the guided DIY installation is enabled by continuous health/status reporting. 

Web, Mobile, Voice Enabled and Secure – EnergyCloud provides a flexible user interface including “Just Ask Amazon Alexa” certification and secure, standards-based, API’s allowing integration with 3rd party services while providing over-the-air product updates designed for future proofing. 

Blue Line’s President and CTO, Gerry O’Brien comments……”Our number one objective is to provide users with the real time information they need to make informed energy usage decisions to help them save money.  Increasing the level and quality of user engagement makes this possible. We believe that making this information accessible in a manner that is convenient for the user is key to overall adoption and ultimately, success.”

 

About Blue Line Innovations;

Founded in 2004, Blue Line is a leader in innovative home energy management providing the best user engagement driven by real-time energy consumption information. With over 350,000 home installations across 100+ Utilities in North America, Blue Line is an established and proven provider of industry leading technology for home energy management.

 

Blue Line’s next generation of EnergyCloud is now available for immediate shipment. 

For more information, please visit www.bluelineinnovations.com.

 

Contact:

Steve Dodds 

VP, Sales and Business Development  sdodds@bluelineinnovations.com

Mobile: (613) 583-4679

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Tags:  Energy Efficiency  Energy Management 

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Email Marketing: Move Beyond Segmentation to Insight Driven Personalization

Posted By Karen Morris, Thursday, August 23, 2018

 

Good marketers know the importance of delivering the personalized experience customer expect. Personalized email campaigns begin with segmentation but in our data rich digital world we can now move one step further to one on one marketing also known as the segment of one.

Now having access to more customer data utilities can easily create personal, and relevant email campaigns. How relevant and personal can you get? Here are a few ways, threshold bill alerts, video bill explanations only sent to households with higher bills, demand response notifications, weather notifications, and more all including useful relevant tips.

The beauty of email marketing lies in the fact that they open the doors to a wide array of customer data begging to be analyzed, categorized, optimized. Thanks to these tools, we have access to detailed insights about our audience and can carefully tailor messages to drive open rates and customer engagement!

Audience Demographics

Without much effort, you can easily start segmenting based on location, home profile, income, age, and energy use patterns. In addition, gathering home profile data through your preference center or your online Energy Advisor ensures that your messages are even more exact. For instance, sending HVAC upgrade tips to someone in a multifamily home is not helpful. Someone eligible for your low-income program would rather see low-cost or no-cost tips. Having granular knowledge of your service territory allows you to deliver messages that customers appreciate. It all goes back to fostering a trusting relationship.

Do you know, that young families are more conscious of how much they’re spending on their utility bill? Or you might gather, through household income demographics, that higher-income customers are more engaged in pricing programs, like San Diego Gas & Electric discovered. These are the kinds of insights that will allow you to start building trust with your audience that goes beyond efficient billing.

Email Engagement

Measure the success of your email campaigns by analyzing open rates, unsubscribes, and click through rates to determine how much your audience is interested and willing to engage with your brand.

Looking at email analytics is also an effective way to see which kind of content your audience wants to see. Apogee finds that our utility clients sending emails with video bills not only receive click through rates that are more than 3 times their average baseline but are sustained proving continued customer engagement.

Energy Use Data

Apogee has used customer energy use data to identify customers that have recently experienced a bill hike, we then send this group personalized energy tips and bill explanations messages on how to avoid it happening again. We are seeing as much as 98% of customers wanting to see more of these personalized messages and an increase in utility brand perception.

Are you moving towards the segment of one?

It’s important here to remember that if you’re new to segmentation, always start simple. Apogee can help move you closer to the segment of one.

Have you already started segmenting your audience? What’s worked for you? Let us know!

 

About the Author: Ann Fracas, VP of Business Development

Prior to joining Apogee Interactive, Ann was an enterprise sales executive in the technology and consulting industries. Her career started at Georgia Power in IT and then moved to sales at Adobe, Foxit, and DayNine Consulting Services.

Ann focuses on a consultative ‘customer first’ approach driven by business needs, and value. She is a Georgia Tech graduate, having received her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management with a concentration in Information Systems. She has a passion for developing strong long-term business relationships, and finding the right solutions to maximize a client’s investment.

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Tags:  Apogee  email  marketing 

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