Pioneering choice engine platform offers unprecedented opportunity to make markets work better for consumers
The Association of Energy Service Professionals (AESP) selected the PG&E Marketplace to receive its 2019 Outstanding Achievement Reward for Residential Program Design and Implementation. Enervee was honored at an awards luncheon January 21, kicking off the AESP 29th Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.
“The AESP Energy Awards honor companies and programs that have demonstrated leadership in moving the energy industry forward and driving users of energy toward smarter methods of consumption,” said John Hargrove, AESP CEO. “These companies present exciting new approaches to energy efficiency, bringing creative thinking and problem-solving to the industry.”
The PG&E Marketplace was selected, because the choice engine platform:
The PG&E Marketplace was the first to be launched with the explicit intention of generating claimable market-based savings by helping customers make better buying decisions, rather than relying on incentives of any kind.
While the choice engine concept isn’t new — you’re probably familiar with choice engine offerings in other sectors, such as Kayak/Expedia or Trulia/Zillow — Enervee pioneered the application of choice engines in the utility sector back in 2014.
On February 4th, the PG&E Marketplace also received an honorable mention for the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative’s 2019 Best Practice Award for Consumer Engagement at SECC’s Consumer Symposium in New Orleans.
These utility choice engine deployments grew out of a real consumer need. Even though research shows that the vast majority of Americans think it’s important to buy efficient products for their homes, they had no way to act on that ambition.
Think about the last time one of your own major appliances needed to be replaced. It’s a typically stressful situation that people don’t enjoy, because it’s a big ticket item, yet you’re forced to pick a model, without much time to research. Given that it’s not a purchase you’re making every day, you probably don’t know what features are available or what’s a good price – and there’s no 1-stop shop to search for local availability across all retailers. Plus, if you want to make sure your washer is efficient, you’re pretty much out of luck.
This is why customers look to their utility for advice.
The online PG&E Marketplace platform provides customers with a powerful choice engine that simplifies and streamlines the shopping experience, while integrating a zero to 100 relative energy efficiency index (Enervee Score) that empowers customers to choose the most efficient products that meet their needs and buy them at their preferred retailer. By aggregating all retail offers, the utility remains true to its trusted advisor role.
This seems to be a winning combination from the customer perspective: 46% of visitors to the PG&E Marketplace had a better overall perception of the utility as a result of their Marketplace experience – because it provides them with a valuable service that they can’t find elsewhere.
Academic research on the impact of the Enervee Score and an independent assessment of the PG&E Marketplace have demonstrated that — just by making efficiency visible and actionable for consumers — shoppers buy more efficient products, even without incentives.
The Enervee team greatly appreciates the recent recognition from AESP and SECC, and we hope it will encourage more policymakers, regulators and utilities to take advantage of these new capabilities to transform consumer product markets and capture market-based savings at scale. A heartfelt “thank you” to everyone on the AESP and SECC Awards Committees for the time and expertise they volunteered to evaluate the nominations. Picking the winners could not have been an easy task.
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