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.
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.
Are you sifting through the overwhelming amount of information on electric vehicles (EVs), trying to design programs or develop messaging to encourage EV adoption? Look no further. The E Source research teams have reduced the heaps of data down to 10 bite-sized factoids to help you get the gears turning. This top-10 list can help utilities start thinking about the demand-side management, technology, and marketing opportunities around EVs.
Friday, June 26, was no ordinary dog day of summer at E Source. We unleashed some new employees at the office—the kind that beg and bark and bury bones. These new staffers may have been cute and furry and content with a belly rub, but we made them earn their keep. Our four-legged friends treated us to a host of nifty tricks for our Best Trick contest. Check out the video to see which pup’s wild and wacky stunt won our contest!
Time-variant pricing describes utility rates that vary depending on day of week, month of year, or even time of day. Two examples of this rate structure are time-of-use (TOU) and dynamic pricing. The term might sound totally new, but you likely experience some form of time-variant pricing in your day-to-day life. Ever pay more for a ski pass on a holiday in January than on a Tuesday in November? A new E Source report offers all the details on this pricing strategy.
Recently, I was in Portland, Oregon, speaking at the AESP Spring Conference, and I had a chance to check out a cool new smart home demonstration project from start-up company IOTAS. Unlike most smart home or home energy management (HEM) vendors that are almost exclusively focused on single-family homes, IOTAS concentrates on adding smart home capabilities to multifamily rental units. The innovations are pretty remarkable, and they’re likely to appeal to IOTAS’ target demographic: millennials. Learn more about the company’s approach.