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.
Despite much hype to the contrary, Tesla Motors’ new line of stationary lithium-ion batteries will likely not be used by homeowners who combine them with solar panels and escape the grid. Instead, three other applications present the company with far more potential. This is the first part of a five-part series that investigates these applications, as well as one more widely discussed application that’s unlikely to find wide success.
Every year, E Source holds the Utility Ad Awards Contest to find the best in utility advertising. We’re close to choosing our winners, but we want you to have a say as well. Our Crowd Pleaser Award is presented to the utility whose print ad receives the most votes from you, our members. Visit our Facebook page before August 21 to cast your vote!
We’re learning from our utility members. Inspired by your efforts to cultivate safety in the workplace, we formed the E Source safety squad. This group of safety-minded coworkers recently learned CPR and first aid to help us take action in an emergency and prevent injury and fatalities in the office. By providing informational messages and lifesaving training, we’re slowly shifting the culture to focus more seriously on safety at work.
Utilities have access to vast volumes of big data. Information about customers’ usage behavior, demographics, and past participation in energy-efficiency programs can be combined to build sophisticated segmentation and coordinated outreach. This means that utilities can better target their marketing efforts to drive meaningful engagement with customers. But how do you get started? We can help! Join us at this year’s E Source Forum to learn effective data-leveraging strategies.
Wearable fitness devices provide loads of data about sleeping habits, calories burned, and steps taken. Similarly, smart meter portals give customers access to tons of energy-usage information. But research shows that data alone isn’t enough to motivate long-term behavior change. What’s missing is engagement. By offering a feedback loop that proves to customers that they can save money on their utility bills, behavioral demand-response (DR) programs and home energy management (HEM) tools are effective engagement strategies. They may hold the key to long-term behavior change.
Utilities in the US and Canada are striving to improve the customer experience (CX). They’re sending their employees to customer service training and sending customer service surveys to their customers. They’re overhauling websites and interactive voice response systems (IVRs) to make them more customer-friendly. But there’s one thing every utility could be doing better: listening. A key input to any well-designed utility CX initiative is the voice of the customer (VOC). A robust VOC program—one that listens to customers, analyzes their feedback to derive insights, takes action on those insights, and closes the feedback loop—can result in increased customer satisfaction and improved operational efficiency.
Does your utility or implementation organization have innovative demand-side management (DSM) programs or measures you’re testing out? We want to hear about them! If we select your cutting-edge DSM measure, we’ll highlight at this year’s E Source Forum. Keep reading for more information and details on how to submit your entry!
I’ve been doing a lot of research around trade allies, taking a big-picture view of some of the research E Source has done and supplementing it with new information and insights. Of particular interest is what the top considerations should be when developing or refining a trade ally network. The decisions you make around how to structure your vendor community can have huge rippling effects downstream, affecting how your trade allies perform and how they represent your utility’s brand. Here, we list the five most critical questions to ask yourself when you plan your network.
What’s the newest approach to multicultural marketing? Some are doing away with it altogether and taking a “total-market” approach in order to more effectively reach all customer groups. Simple language translations are no longer sufficient to reach and engage customers of all cultural backgrounds. Utilities need to deliver a broader message that incorporates multiple views into a cohesive message. We’ll dive deeper at the 2015 E Source Forum and hear from two utilities that have implemented successful strategies.
Smart bulbs are smart because they can do a lot more than just provide light. You can control them from afar, make them dance to your favorite music, and program them to scare off would-be burglars. But these capabilities come at a price—not just a monetary price but an energy price as well, in the form of standby-power draws for network communications. This can be an important consideration for utilities when they’re designing lighting demand-side management programs.