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E Source Blog

Welcome to the E Source Blog! Our staff will share insights and observations about life at E Source, our events, our research, and other fun stuff.

September 11, 2013 | Alexandra Behringer | 0 comments
Home energy reports (HERs) are the mainstay of behavioral energy-efficiency programs offered by utilities. These reports provide consumers with information on their household energy usage and give a comparison to the energy consumption of neighbors who have similar homes and equipment. Consumers also receive tips on ways to save energy. Although many of these programs focus on electricity savings, increasingly, utilities and statewide efficiency organizations are targeting gas savings through home energy reports.

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September 10, 2013 | Janice Field - Associate Director | 1 comments
Are you getting ready for the E Source Forum? Our staff is gearing up for your arrival! Two of our annual staff rituals include Spirit Week (it’s like our version of the week before the big homecoming game) and a companywide meeting to talk logistics. As I prepare for the staff meeting, I thought I’d share a few tips and highlights to help you get ready for your trip to Denver!

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August 27, 2013 | Chad Garrett - Manager | 0 comments
It’s that time of year again! The time when we E Source employees shift our thoughts from, say, the importance of utilities having positive brand associations, to mashed potatoes served in martini glasses and all the ways we’re willing to look foolish in exchange for a few laughs. Yes, the 26th Annual E Source Forum is right around the corner, with healthy doses of all these things. (OK, I’m not sure the potatoes are healthy, but they sure are tasty.)

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August 23, 2013 | Chad Garrett - Manager | 0 comments
There are lots of reasons to attend conferences. They’re a wonderful way to breathe inspiration into your job, they can be filled with useful nuggets that you can apply immediately, and—let’s admit it—the occasional sponsored reception is a big plus. You’ll find all of that at the 26th Annual E Source Forum, which is taking place in Denver from September 17 to 20. In my role as organizer of a session called "Drive Deeper Engagement with Business Marketing," I’m drawing on the creativity and expertise of three speakers to help our industry expand the way we think about reaching business customers.

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August 21, 2013 | Lindsey Sajban - Marketing Assistant | 0 comments
Every year, E Source holds the Utility Ad Awards Contest to find the very best in utility residential and business advertising. This was my first year organizing and marketing the awards, and I really wanted to do something new. At first I thought of awarding a fun trophy like the Webby or the MTV Moonman. But then I decided I wanted to see what print ad would come out on top if it were selected by a panel of nonexpert judges—the voice of the people, if you will. From our desire to have a cool award that was based off peer recognition, we created our newest award, the Crowd Pleaser.

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August 19, 2013 | Melanie Wemple - Senior Research Associate | 0 comments
Energy-efficiency programs, no matter their design or implementation strategies, ultimately seek one common goal: to persuade people to use less energy. Inherently, this means motivating a target population—whether it’s consumers, contractors, dealers, or manufacturers—to change their behavior. Energy-efficiency program administrators have historically set into motion desired behaviors with equipment rebates that are intended to create demand for more-efficient lightbulbs, water heaters, or air conditioners, to name a few. But upgrading technology is only a piece of the energy-usage pie. Research from Opinion Dynamics shows that an average of 12 to 18 percent of energy consumed in commercial buildings is wasted as a result of occupant’ behavior. And behavior waste is responsible for nearly 36 percent of commercial lighting energy usage! One solution—targeting behavior (with a little automation, for example)—can help transform bad energy habits and save customers money.

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August 15, 2013 | Aleana Reeves - Senior Product Manager | 0 comments
When I was doing my umpteeth thousandth load of laundry over the weekend, I paused while looking down at my daughter’s shirt. The stain she had created on her “sweetheart”-emblazoned top actually looked like a heart. Fascinating. Immediately, my brain went to one of my favorite television commercials, aired by Tide Miracle Stain during Super Bowl XLVII. How clever, I thought, for a low-interest category such as stain lifter to do such remarkable marketing! How sad, however, that my daughter’s stain didn’t look more like Joe Montana. Alas …

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August 15, 2013 | Mary Horsey - Research Manager | 0 comments
When most of us think about modeling building energy use, we think of complex, expensive computer programs that require a graduate degree to run and understand. Worse yet, they may or may not give an accurate picture of how a building’s energy systems are performing. But now we’re poised to take a giant leap forward! The big data revolution has fueled the development of new tools so you’ll be able to target each building in your service territory to identify the most effective incentive measures. Intrigued? Doubtful? Just stop by the "Big Data Dreamin’" Forum session at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, September 20, to learn how Larry Brackney of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Jennifer Elling of Xcel Energy, and Dale Kruchten of National Grid are working to make this— and more—a reality!

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August 14, 2013 | Kim Burke - Associate Research Director | 0 comments
If the prospect of saving money and energy was all the reason anyone needed to invest in energy efficiency, our jobs would be done, right? The countless brochures, e-mails, and pieces of direct mail that utilities send to their nonresidential customers each year with the “Save money” message would have a 100 percent response rate. But that’s not the reality. The truth is that the decision for a business to participate in a utility demand-side management (DSM) program and to upgrade to more-efficient technology and equipment doesn’t always come down to a simple cost-benefit analysis. There are a lot of competing interests for the capital, and energy use is not top of mind for businesses. Providing customers with a more compelling sales pitch is key to increasing participation rates in energy-efficiency programs.

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August 13, 2013 | Tia Hensler Heath - Director, Market Research Services | 0 comments
Have you ever started a sentence with “How does my utility compare to others when it comes to …”? Well, if you have, it’s time you take a look at the E Source voice-of-the-utility benchmark studies. Recently, I rejoined E Source as the director of Market Research Services. I had worked at the company some years ago as a market researcher and knew the challenges utilities face trying to find relevant benchmark data. I learned E Source had been building its benchmarking data over the years to help utilities assess their business practices. And the efforts have paid off because now E Source’s benchmarking studies cover a wide range of topics!

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