Empowering customers by meeting them when and where they shop
On January 17th, California’s independently owned utilities (IOUs) and Marin Clean Energy filed their first ever 10-year Business Plans, representing an unprecedented strategic planning effort. The Plans offer a comprehensive perspective on the role of utility energy efficiency interventions in the clean energy transition over the coming decade.
We couldn’t hope for a better vote of confidence in Enervee than the emphasis that our existing IOU clients have placed in their Marketplaces to deliver against California’s ambitious goal of doubling statewide energy efficiency savings beyond current efforts by January 1, 2030.
In line with the 2016 Update to California’s Existing Buildings Energy Efficiency Action Plan — which called out utility Marketplaces as a key means of transforming markets — Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), plan to leverage their existing Marketplaces, powered by Enervee, to tackle the projected growth plug load & appliance energy consumption.
Utility-branded Marketplaces powered by Enervee, such as PG&E’s Marketplace, are online platforms that make it easy and compelling for customers to shop energy smart — and for utilities to build a mutually beneficial, ongoing relationship with them. Through a user-friendly interface, shoppers find what they need to make informed decisions on energy-consuming device purchases — including information on the relative energy efficiency of products currently offered for sale, which makes efficiency “visible” and actionable for consumers.
As every Economics 101 student learns, transparency is essential for markets to function properly.
Out of public view, however, it’s the data engine behind the Marketplace platform that enables utilities to meet their customers when and where they shop and to target offers to their current needs and opportunities. According to Pacific Gas & Electric’s Business Plan:
This platform enables PG&E to serve as a trusted energy adviser by connecting customers with the information they need to increase plug-load efficiency…
In their Business Plans, both San Diego Gas & Electric (which will integrate the SDG&E Marketplace into its comprehensive customer platform) and Pacific Gas & Electric have big plans to leverage their Marketplaces to broaden and deepen their relationship with their residential customers.
Effectively engaging customers with the appropriate suite of measures helps establish PG&E as a trusted energy advisor, a relationship that can open the door for ongoing engagement with energy efficiency and IDSM opportunities in the future.
Given that utilities are likely to be given new, more ambitious energy savings targets to contribute to achieving the State’s goal of a cumulative doubling of projected statewide energy efficiency savings in electricity and natural gas end uses of retail customers by January 1, 2030, enhanced utility programs that fully empower residential customers to manage their energy, particularly the fast growing appliances and plug loads that drive energy consumption in the residential sector, will be essential.
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