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Encouraging homeowners to make retrofits when they aren't thinking about them is difficult. What could be easier is doing so when energy efficiency (EE) is top-of-mind for them.
The question is: "When are people thinking about energy efficiency?".
The answer? When they are moving into a new home.
In fact, USA Today rates “Improving energy efficiency” as the number one upgrade you can make to increase the value of your home. For example, a Remodeling.com survey found that homeowners could recoup 116% of the costs of attic insulation.
Homeowners are increasingly aware that HVAC, water heaters and window upgrades are cost-effective changes that provide a solid ROI when it comes time to move or sell.
Despite this interest, this is an issue for utilities. Even if people are willing to make energy efficient upgrades, this does not eliminate the big problem of free ridership rate among their customer base. Free ridership, is of course, the degree to which energy efficiency program participants take incentives for projects which would have been done with or without the program.
Getting more program participation while reducing free ridership rate. In fact, on their own, they are both issues that the utility world has not seemed to figure out yet. Of course, for some states, there’s less of an emphasis on free ridership, but the fact remains that utilities must get their customers to participate in energy efficiency programs.
So, how can utilities get more people to make energy efficient retrofits, while actually showing that they influenced those decisions?
Answer: By targeting homeowners who are likely to move or sell their home!
These homeowners are the perfect candidates for EE programming. Why? They recently bought a new house, and want to ensure their new asset is as valuable as possible. Their family is moving in, and they want to sure its comfort and livability.
A disgruntled homeowner who's used to what they're living in? Not happy when you tell them about a $2,500 HVAC incentive.
A new homeowner who's told about a free Smart Thermostat? They'll be thanking you, because that’s could raise the value of their asset.
There are a plethora of ways utility program managers may be able to do this, and some of them are listed below:
Digital Marketing: Online platforms such as Facebook and Google allow you to show your ads to specific people who are in your likely range of people who want to move. With Facebook, you can actually use Interest targeting and ask Facebook to show your ads to people who are most likely to be moving. The ad might say something like, “Selling your home or moving? Learn how a new HVAC can increase your home property value by XX%!”
A message like this would really resonate with the homeowner who is moving or selling their home.
Surveys and Direct Mail: Another way of knowing what your customers are doing? Ask them!
Short online surveys done via SurveyMonkey, or paper mail ones are an easy, effective way of figuring out which of your customers are moving, or not. You know that any customers that identifies that they may be thinking of moving would likely be interested in energy efficiency retrofits. Therefore, these individuals would be great candidates for marketing efforts down the line.
The drawback of this method? It is rather time consuming, low-tech and sometimes, people just don’t want to be bothered.
Implementing New-Age Software-As-a-Service (SaaS) Products: SaaS. It's not as complicated as it sounds. People have long dismissed utility engagement tactics as dated and low-tech, but that is simply no longer the case. Technology solutions such as MyEnergyXpert are able to take data science and AI, and integrate them with online platforms to identify homes that are ripe for participation.
The technology exists where people will now be able to target homeowners who are most likely to enrol and when they want to enrol.
Utility program managers can now look like geniuses - people are participating because of them, and they can easily track why and how.
It's time to flip the script on utility customer engagement for energy efficiency programs.
Sending customers 50-page unwanted home energy reports? There's no need.
Dealing with contractors for complicated home audits? Forget about that. Wasting marketing and customer care budget on campaigns that won't work? Those days are over.
Giving customers personalized recommendations right when they need it? Sign them, and us, up.
In this week’s UtilityXpert Roundup, Entergy’s VP declares that grid changes are needed, and only IoT and advanced data analytics can help us along. Elsewhere, EE programs are improving all across the nation, green power is in demand, and Dominion keeps one of their major projects going. As usual, it’s been a busy week in the utility world.
Delivering electricity to 2.9 million customers in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas and Texas, Entergy is implementing advanced data analytics and internet-of-things technology across all its divisions. This article features a sit down with Entergy VP, Raiford Smith.
Utility programs are a valuable and growing resource to the affordable housing community. According to ACEEE’s 2018 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, utilities across the U.S. dedicated $7.9 billion to energy efficiency programs in 2017 alone. Likewise, utility investments designated for affordable multifamily programs have grown significantly over the past five years, and the gap between affordable multifamily’s share of the residential market and their share of utility residential investment is beginning to close in many states.
Dominion's deal with Eversource and United Illuminating puts an end to speculation over Connecticut's sole nuclear plant, which the company had said would close if it did not secure a contract by today, March 15.
The 10 year deal will cover 9 million MWh of output annually, more than half of the plant's annual output of about 16.5 million MWh. Connecticut regulators selected the rest of Millstone's output as part of a clean energy solicitation last year.
A new high efficiency, ultra-low emissions commercial water heating and space cooling unit, which begins field demonstrations at two Southern California restaurants this week, could dish out energy savings, lower operating costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for foodservice and hospitality facility operators.
That’s according to Stone Mountain Technologies, Inc. (SMTI), maker of the new technology, which uses a thermally driven heat pump fuelled by natural gas or propane to capture ambient energy, achieving a heating efficiency of 140% or greater. It is projected to reduce energy use by 30 to 50% compared to standard natural gas water heaters. The highly-efficient heat pump also provides space cooling simultaneously, which reduces the need for air conditioning and can help lessen electricity use.
Navigant Research Report Shows Global Spending on Customer Engagement Through Demand Side Management (DSM) is Expected to Reach $1.1 Billion by 2027
To enhance competitiveness and meet customer expectations of new technologies, utilities and retail suppliers should invest in customer-centric DSM products
A new report from Navigant Research examines the global market for customer engagement through DSM (CEDSM), providing market forecasts for spending segmented by region, through 2027.
As customer expectations grow for new technologies, so does the market for CEDSM products, making it easier for utilities and retail suppliers to engage with them. However, uncertainty in the long-term cost-effectiveness of these solutions remains a barrier to global adoption, in addition to region-specific competitiveness of a deregulated energy supply market. Click to tweet: According to a new report from @NavigantRSRCH, global spending on CEDSM is expected to reach $1.1 billion by 2027.
“Because of the changes in consumer expectations, utilities and retail suppliers are seeking DSM software solutions that can lower the cost-to-serve and improve customer satisfaction and engagement,” says Brett Feldman, principal research analyst with Navigant Research.
According to Navigant, to enhance CEDSM competitiveness and customer acceptance, utilities and service providers should focus on combining budgets and revenue streams to cover costs, transition to newer business models while complementing existing DSM programs rather than replacing them, and offering accurate building energy use models to build customer trust.
This report, Utility Customer Engagement through DSM, examines the global CEDSM market, with a focus on market drivers and barriers, case studies, and forecasts for residential and commercial and industrial (C&I) CEDSM spending. The study examines the trends related to CEDSM to highlight regional activities and approaches to behavioral DSM and utility marketplaces. Global market forecasts for spending, broken out by segment and region, extend through 2027. The report also profiles key CEDSM solutions providers and provides recommendations for utilities, retail suppliers, and vendors that aim to enhance CEDSM effectiveness.
* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Utility Customer Engagement through DSM, is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.
New “EPIC” Suite of Digital Products Unlocks Engagement, Cost Savings
ATLANTA, GA – August 9, 2017– Apogee Interactive announced the launch of EPIC, the Energy Platform for Information & Communication (EPIC) that provides a compelling suite of cutting-edge digital customer engagement tools specifically targeted to low-income consumers, renters, and residents of multi-family buildings.It shows them realistic ways to save energy and money that builds trust and customer satisfaction in this crucial (and growing) market segment.
EPIC communicates energy information targeted to customers who lack the ability to make significant home energy efficiency investments. It emphasizes how they can realistically control their energy costs and gives them meaningful insights into how small changes in behavior can add up to substantial savings. The platform is based on a customized edition of Apogee’s flagship Energy Advisor analysis application that provides customers insight into their energy use, habits, and trends. EPIC leverages email and texting to supply on-the-go energy efficiency guidance enabling families to take charge of their spend. Tips are tailored to a consumers’ household profile and can often be implemented right away with no outside assistance and at little or no cost.
EPIC’s capabilities begin with targeting the right customers for relevant program participation, then recruits and enrolls them.Not stopping there, it continues with personalized progress reporting to keep customers engaged and motivated.In addition, the platform includes Apogee’s most popular Special Purpose Calculators that give customers a unique look at the energy footprint of their household electronics and appliances. Optional engagement enhancements to the base EPIC offering include video messaging, alerts, bill explanations, and energy summary reports.
“Apogee’s Energy Platform for Information & Communication produces truly epic results for utilities and customers alike,” says Apogee CEO, Susan Gilbert. “While customers enjoy personal messaging with guidance about savings, utilities achieve increased customer satisfaction rates and lower operating costs from reduced call volume, improved cash flow, and less bad debt.”
For more information about EPIC’s advantages and how it could help you support your hard-to-serve customers, contact Apogee.
About Apogee Interactive, Inc.
Apogee Interactive is nation’s leading full-service provider of proactive customer engagement software services for utilities. A partner with the utility industry since 1993, Apogee’s digital engagement platform delivers on-line and outbound proactive, personalized communication to consumers nationwide. The company’s digital reach extends through more than 600 utilities to 48% of US households and businesses, increasing utility customer satisfaction and slashing costs. Apogee’s cloud-based, SaaS platform enables more meaningful customer engagement, proven sustainable energy results, and improved program performance for utilities. For more information visit www.apogee.net or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/99046/
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.
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I love a good catalog. I’m instantly transported to an idyllic place where my house is flawlessly decorated and organized. The throw pillows complement the loveseat (which matches the rug). Even the dog coordinates with his dog bed tucked neatly in the alcove. Sigh.
As you comb through each spread, there’s also a sense of familiarity. You know the brand. You identify with the look and feel. Recognize the products. You know the names, styles, cost, and ordering them is a cinch with those bolded product codes.
The small business market seems predestined with its “hard to reach” typecast slapped across every storefront. Dare we even say it’s too difficult to bother targeting? Yet as the saying goes, sometimes what seems like hard work is worth the effort.
Let’s consider why this market is presumed hard to reach in the first place. There are a few reasons. Small businesses typically run under both time-constrained and cash-strapped owners. Staff is spread thin. Revenue fluctuates, depending on outside influences like the economy, construction or location.