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Anne Arquit Niederberger4/16/19 12:00 AM4 min read

Two firsts will modernize California energy efficiency incentives

It’s no secret that traditional utility rebate programs haven’t offered a great user experience. Customers had to manually match their preferred products by model number against qualified product lists, leading to many ineligible claims. Rebate claim forms and proof of purchase had to be submitted in paper form, and rebate checks were sent by the postal service, often arriving as much as 8 weeks after application. Plus, there was no way to track the status of incentive claims already submitted.

In the past several years, the industry has been moving to digital, much more customer-friendly solutions, and Enervee is at the forefront of these developments, integrating state-of-the-art incentive functionality into our customer-facing online choice engine platforms, like the SCE Marketplace. We launched Enervee Fast Track in 2018, and Southern California Edison (SCE) made this convenient functionality available to its customers on April 18th.

Reward Fast Track — Claim utility incentives in a single step

Let’s say you’re moving into a new house or apartment, and are taking that opportunity to upgrade various appliances, electronics and HVAC equipment. If you’ve already purchased a qualifying product you can apply for a reward online, in one simple step. If you have multiple appliances eligible for rewards, you can add each qualifying model by clicking on the “add another product” button.

After we confirm your purchase, you’ll receive an email from our partner, Tango Card, containing an incentive link. The link takes you to a page with reward options, where you can choose from a wide range of e-gift card or Prepaid Visa card options. Quick, simple and flexible.

Instant online discounts with Enervee Checkout

SCE is also the first utility in California to deploy the Enervee Checkout application, which enables customers shopping on the SCE Marketplace to take advantage of instant and dynamic discounts for energy-saving products, in partnership with online retailer

Marketplace screenshot
SCE Marketplace thermostat page, with the option to take advantage of instant utility discounts while checking out online, or to claim a utility rebate (if the device was purchased previously)

Customers can now take advantage of instant discounts, while shopping online, reducing the up-front cost to purchase the product and eliminating the need to apply for a rebate altogether. For SCE, Checkout enables real-time verification of users, increased flexibility in terms of customer verification method (e.g. by zip-code, API call or flat file), as well as the ability to set — and change — underlying rules for incentive eligibility (e.g. by product, quantity or timing).

Checkout also enables SCE to create and deliver targeted incentives — based either on user inputs during the Checkout process (via fully customizable qualifying questions), or via data provided by the utility. For example, special incentives on the most efficient products can be offered to income-qualified customers, addressing the up-front purchase price barrier and providing a new online retail channel.

Seamless integration of utility and manufacturer discounts

In addition to utility discounts, the Checkout application supports special promotions from manufacturers. The following screen shot shows the extra $50 Earth Day Sale instant discount that Ecobee is offering on one of their smart thermostat models today.

From the consumer perspective, the best thing about Checkout is the fact that incentives are applied instantly during the online purchase transaction, eliminating both the chance of buying a product that’s not eligible for an incentive and the need to apply for the incentive.

In contrast to other instant online incentive solutions, Checkout allows SCE to partner with retailers, rather than compete. Tech-savvy proved to be an ideal partner for Enervee to bring Checkout to the utility sector.

Expanding Enervee’s partnership with SCE to benefit consumers

The SCE Marketplace, launched at the end of 2017, offers Edison’s 4.4 million residential customers the most energy efficient products to meet their needs. The platform’s unique features include a zero to 100 Enervee Score® on every product model, showing how energy efficient it is compared to other products in the same category, as well as personalized estimates of energy bill savings and total cost to own and operate each device over its lifetime.

We are thrilled to be deepening our partnership with SCE and bringing new technology to California in 2019. Fast Track and Checkout will modernize utility incentive delivery. Checkout, in particular, responds to new policy guidance from the California Public Utilities Commission to target incentives for maximum impact and will allow SCE to better serve income-constrained households for which up-front purchase price can be a serious barrier.

These platform upgrades are just the beginning. Enervee has solutions to help Californians with big ticket, unfamiliar buying decisions like solar and EVs, which have been deployed elsewhere, as well as a far-reaching product roadmap that we develop with our utility partners.