Eliminating pervasive barriers that prevent private investment into energy efficient consumer products captures significant cost-effective savings that were previously untapped potential. This is a key takeaway from the first independent assessment of the AEP Ohio Marketplace, performed by Opinion Dynamics.
Large-scale engagement and impacts
According to the study — which estimated the impact of the AEP Ohio Marketplace from January 2018 through the end of March 2019 — over 149,000 active shoppers visited the site and, as a result of the online platform, made over 42,000 efficient product purchases.
These purchases will save 92,153 MWh of electricity on a gross lifetime basis and cut demand by 18.53 MW, demonstrating that every purchase matters. The report also estimated influence-adjusted savings values.
These energy savings will avoid 65,156 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, a meaningful contribution to climate protection, as evidenced by the alternative GHG mitigation options (new wind turbines or taking cars off the road) shown here.
Savings have continued to accumulate throughout 2019 and now 2020.
Eliminating barriers (market-based approach) delivers most savings
According to Opinion Dynamics, the independent evaluator that conducted the study:
The savings achieved in the non-rebated categories account for more than 65% of overall electricity savings and roughly 57% of demand reductions — and, notably, this was done without incentives.
Enervee’s choice engine platform unleashes market forces by eliminating market and psychological barriers that otherwise prevent shoppers from choosing the most efficient products to meet their needs. The Enervee Score makes efficiency visible to consumers, and daily updated retail prices show that efficient products don’t have to cost more, countering a common lay theory. As a result of overcoming persistent and pervasive barriers, the study shows that this award-winning, market-based approach can close the gap between market and cost-effective potential, capturing significant savings that would otherwise be left on the table.
Enervee’s Checkout application, which enables AEP Ohio to insert instant discounts into the online purchase process (transacted by one of our retail partners), delivered another 15% of the electricity savings. AEP Ohio was the first utility in the country to roll out Checkout a year ago and is now reaping the benefits.
The remainder of the electricity savings attributed to the AEP Ohio Marketplace (20% of the total) represented uplift to other utility programs (traditional downstream rebates).
The large share of market-based savings leads to favorable overall cost metrics ($0.01/gross lifetime kWh saved), while delivering energy and non-energy benefits.
Delivering customer value
AEP Ohio customers highly value the unique features of the site (e.g., Enervee Score, integrated instant discounts, estimated energy bill savings), and 78% said they’re likely to recommend it to family, friends and colleagues (27% extremely likely). By providing actionable advice, utilities bolster their trusted advisor role and reap benefits beyond the immediate scope of the program: For 58% of respondents, their experiences with the AEP Ohio Marketplace left them with a more favorable opinion of their energy provider overall, which is an outcome we’re seeing across utility deployments.
“We urge Ohio decision-makers to take note of these results,” said Enervee CEO Matthias Kurwig. “Even without incentives, AEP Ohio has empowered its customer base to make better energy-related buying decisions, capture gigawatt hour-scale market-based savings and cut energy waste and energy bills.”
The AEP Ohio Marketplace assessment adds to the growing body of evidence that it is possible to eliminate longstanding market and psychological barriers and make markets work better for consumers.