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2020 AESP Energy Awards


The 2020 AESP Energy Award Winners


In February 2020 at the 30th Annual Conference in Anaheim, AESP proudly announced the winners of the 2020 Energy Awards. Join us in congratulating these winners. The awards recognize creative thinking, new approaches and problem-solving in the energy efficiency industry. Entries for 2021’s awards will open in September and will be announced in What's New. Be sure to subscribe to receive What's New to receive the call for entries. 




Outstanding Achievement in Customer Engagement

Ameren Illinois – Residential Customer Engagement Initiative

Whether creating energy savings or much-needed jobs, the Ameren Illinois Market Development Initiative is delivering a shot-in-the-arm to low-income households and communities. Specific programs were designed with the residential customer in mind, such as deep discounts on energy-efficient light bulbs and a comprehensive home efficiency program. In the words of Ameren Illinois Chairman and President Richard Mark: “One of my goals has been to ensure that all utility customers, regardless of income, have an opportunity to receive real and meaningful savings from the energy efficiency programs they have been paying for.” While helping small, minority-owned businesses thrive, Ameren Illinois has reached thousands of customers with energy efficiency education and is delivering ongoing energy savings. Ameren and its prime program implementer, Leidos, have established an industry-leading Market Development Initiative that leverages more than $100 million in funding to make energy efficiency more accessible to all customers.

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Outstanding Achievement in Emerging Tools & Technologies

Arizona Public Service – Customer Technology Rewards Initiative

The Rewards Initiative is a bold step towards harnessing innovation on both sides of the meter. To date, APS has met or exceeded the initial scope for their distributed energy resource fleets. They have proceeded to innovate on typical utility demand response strategies by adding pre-cooling to typical weekday and weekend demand response events. This will provide better customer experience by adding a buffer against extreme summer temperatures throughout the desert regions. Understanding customers is a priority.  APS is working with technology providers and a DERMS platform to carefully orchestrate DER control strategies, which will optimize operation to benefit customer bills while serving grid needs of shifting energy use away from peak periods, and into midday solar production periods.

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Outstanding Achievement in Residential Marketing

Baltimore Gas and Electric – Fairy Tale Campaign

On April 1, 2019, BGE launched a new “Fairy Tale” campaign. Featuring a storytelling approach and a collection of animated characters, the new campaign explores how BGE’s programs are helping customers save energy and money while living more energy-efficient lifestyles. In-depth market research, innovations throughout the creative process and cost-effective marketing tactics brought the Fairy Tale campaign to life. After just six months, the television spots have garnered over 25 million impressions, and the Smart Energy Savers Program has seen an impressive increase in participation, bringing a wide range of energy-saving initiatives to new and more engaged audiences. The BGE Smart Energy Savers Program has reduced energy demand in Maryland by helping its residential customers take advantage of $570 million in energy-efficient product rebates, over 312,868 home energy
audits and check-ups and over 33.3 million instant discounts on ENERGY STAR certified LEDs.

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Outstanding Achievement in Residential Program Design & Implementation

Eversouce – ConnectedSolutions Demand Response Program

The Eversource ConnectedSolutions demand response program extends the capabilities of, and innovates, the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model of demand response programs to maximize customer satisfaction and enrollment. In addition, it prepares the utility and grid for the expected increase in Distributed Energy Resources. Eversource has been able to pair a customer centric approach with innovation in DER management technology for a mutually beneficial program. Understanding customer behaviors and the performance of different DER dispatch strategies is positioning Eversource to be a leader in DER management for years to come.

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Outstanding Achievement in Non-Residential Program Design & Implementation

FortisBC - Social Housing Retrofit Support Program

The Social Housing Retrofit Support Program was launched in February 2018 to support social housing providers in British Columbia to conduct energy efficiency retrofits. The program participants access the program offer through a single application, one-stop-shop process that brings together multiple funding partners (utilities, government and other funding sources targeting social housing) and provides guidance at every step of the customerjourney, Program partners include: FortisBC (private gas&electric utility), BC Hydro (government-owned utility), CleanBC (government funding initiative), BC Housing(government owned corporation) and BC Nonprofit Housing Association. Program funding partners cost share the energy study and engineering implementation support, and each utility pays for its respective ECMs. The program’s goals are to 1) provide a holistic approach to energy efficiency for both fuel types; 2) provide simple and fast customer experience and3) improve the quality of the social housing stock in BC. This is an ongoing program that since its launch, has exceeded the participant rate by 400% (100 participants a year instead of 25).

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Outstanding Achievement in Market Research & Evaluation

Nicor Gas - Energy Efficiency Program Market Transformation

Nicor Gas is leading the development of the Midwest Market Transformation Collaborative (MT Collaborative) and paving the way for Market Transformation (MT) savings to be counted in Illinois through the Illinois Technical Reference Manual (TRM). It began with Nicor Gas’ vision to develop an innovative model that redefined utility collaboration in the Midwest by developing MT initiatives through the MT Collaborative. But Nicor Gas took this one step further in recognizing that counting savings from MT initiatives would look very different from prior energy efficiency programs. They led the successful effort to develop a statewide framework for estimating MT savings, which was then adopted into the Illinois TRM. Through the MT Collaborative, they also provided the opportunity for the framework to be adopted by other utilities who want to incorporate MT savings into their efficiency portfolios.

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Outstanding Achievement in Gas Energy Efficiency Program Design and Implementation

New Mexico Gas Company - Native American Energy Efficiency Program

New Mexico Gas Company worked diligently over several years to develop an energy efficiency program designed to serve its Native American customers. Frustrated by the limited access and low participation rates, New Mexico Gas Company designed an innovative, first of its kind energy efficiency program to serve tribal communities. They met directly with tribal organizations, designed a multiyear pilot project to test the viability of the program, funded over $160,000 for the initial projects, and coordinated stakeholders to guide the initial projects to success. New Mexico Gas Company has now developed and proposed a permanent program for the tribal communities of New Mexico. The Native American Energy Efficiency Program will increase access to energy efficiency services and energy savings to the Native American communities it serves. In the first two years, the pilot program demonstrated that the innovative, community-based program model can deliver cost-effective savings and achieve high levels of customer satisfaction.

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Outstanding Achievement in Non-residential Marketing

PECO Energy Company - C&I Marketing

For the very first time in its energy efficiency programs, PECO needed to develop an influential digital media campaign to target current and past program participants, as well as hard-to-reach Commercial & Industrial (C&I) customer segments. With only 5 years to accomplish a lofty 2021 MWh savings goal and a budget of just over $1 million for paid media, PECO knew a full-stack marketing approach was needed to hit potential participants from all angles. As the utility serving the greater Philadelphia market, PECO unveiled a creative new visual campaign – using simple, two-dimensional illustrations paired with energy efficiency equipment upgrades with recognizable, sector-specific elements.

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