Business customers often ask utility account managers for advice on lowering their monthly energy bills, improving energy efficiency, and updating equipment or technology. There are many resources out there that can help with this—Energy Star, the US Department of Energy, industry associations, and national labs to name a few—but, more often than not, the information the customer needs is spread out across many different websites.

E Source Business Energy Advisor provides a one-stop shop for sector-specific energy advice and gives you another channel for improving engagement with your business customers while also promoting energy efficiency programs.

E Source Business Energy Advisor provides a one-stop shop for sector-specific energy advice and gives you another channel for improving engagement with your business customers.

How do business customers prefer to interact with their utility?

How can a branded website, strictly for business customers, help increase engagement with this notoriously hard-to-reach customer base? First, let’s look at the research. In our 2018 Small and Midsize Business Gap and Priority Benchmark study, we found that utility websites are the leading channel business customers turn to, to analyze their energy use and learn about or enroll in utility programs and services (figure 1).

Figure 1: SMB channel preferences for utility interaction

Bar graph showing preferred contact method for various interactions with utility.

Small and midsize business (SMB) customers prefer to go directly to their utility’s website for three of the five interactions included in the survey. Can your business customers easily find this type of information on your website? If the answer is “no” or “kind of,” then you likely need to look at an alternative platform to meet their needs.

How utilities leverage E Source Business Energy Advisor | Customer case studies

MLGW uses Business Energy Advisor both for internal needs and to communicate with customers. They use the tool to:

  • Train employees in their call center to direct SMB customers to relevant areas of MLGW’s Business Energy Advisor site
  • Support interactions with key accounts and use the information to conduct energy audits
  • Identify new technologies for their own buildings throughout the region
  • Create content for a monthly business customer newsletter
  • Address high bill complaints in person, often printing information from Business Energy Advisor to give to the customer and help them understand how they can become more efficient

Georgia Power has used Business Energy Advisor since 2018. Georgia Power primarily uses the tool to:

  • Promote energy-efficiency programs
  • Enhance high bill training
  • Train new hires
  • Educate reps about customers’ businesses and usage patterns
  • Empower reps by providing a wealth of information at their fingertips

Getting started with Business Energy Advisor

E Source Business Energy Advisor has helped transform business customer operations both internally and externally for major utilities across the country. We’ve upgraded the platform significantly in the last year to add more customization options to match your logos, colors, and custom content to blend seamlessly with your existing website. We added an API option so you can pull content directly into your existing website however you choose, and the web analytics dashboard provides up-to-date reporting.

If you think this could be a good fit for your utility, then you owe it to yourself and your organization to learn more. Watch the short video below and schedule a demo for an in-person look.

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Contributing Authors

Manager, Customer Engagement Solutions

Devin Fink works closely with our members to help them maximize their business customer relationships. He conducts member training and onboarding,...