NOTE: This event has already taken place. See below for recording, event description, and link to download the presentation slides.

Download web conference slides (PDF)

E Source recently partnered with Egg Strategy, a market consultancy, to deliver residential ethnographic market research to our E Design 2020 customers; through this research, we revealed significant conflicts between how utilities design their bills and the information customers want. Customers not only articulated frustrations with language (what’s a kilowatt-hour/therm?) but also voiced displeasure with the frequency and timing of usage feedback, the anxiety produced before opening a potentially high bill, and the disconnect between what they’re charged and the real value of their energy use. More often than not, customers had a negative perception of their utility.

E Source has transformed the typical bill redesign process to create a superior billing experience for customers. We’re looking for utilities that want to partner with us to redesign their bills using design thinking, ethnographic research, and voice of the employee.

Part 1: Educational (25 minutes)

During the first half of this web conference, we’ll reveal findings from our ethnographic research with real utility customers. We’ll cover:

  • How utilities approach the bill redesign process today and why they fall short in customers’ minds
  • Why explaining utility terminology is a fruitless exercise
  • Some examples of what a radical bill redesign might look like
  • How customer segmentation fits into the need for bill redesign

Part 2: Partner opportunities (20 minutes)

During the second half, we’ll describe the design-thinking project that we’re proposing. We’ll discuss:

  • Conducting specific ethnographic research with the target customer group in your service territory
  • Interviewing internal stakeholders to determine the broad array of wants and needs
  • Synthesizing the research
  • Holding internal utility workshops to go through the design-thinking process of observing, understanding, point of view, and ideation
  • Creating prototypes using approaches such as design tetris, and conducting iterative rapid-feedback and design sessions with customers
  • Finalizing designs for pilot and rollout

These projects can either be done on a pure consulting basis, or we can accommodate several utilities if they wish to pool their resources, research, or results together. E Source is willing to cost-share with the first utility that engages in a consulting project, as we want to demonstrate the value of this approach going forward.

Although used for decades in competitive technology companies, design thinking is relatively new in the energy industry. We’re not aware of any utility bill that has been redesigned using this approach. Instead of creating an easy-to-read, utility-oriented revenue bill, we focus on building a customer-centric engagement and experience tool that also collects revenue.


Bill LeBlanc, Chief Instigation Agent, E Source
Jeffrey Daigle, Associate Director, Customer Experience, E Source

For more information about attending this event, please email us or call 1-800-ESOURCE (1-800-376-8723).