Marketplace + DR Program = 3X More Enrollments! Register for the upcoming webinar today.

Sign Me Up Sign Me Up

California’s Heat Wave and The Grid: Demand Response in Action

Read Now Read Now

Uplight Announces Energy Industry Veteran Luis D’Acosta as CEO to Lead Company in its Next Phase of Growth

Learn More Learn More

Uplight Launches EV Solution Suite to Enable EV Adoption Amid Energy Transition

Learn More Learn More

Voice of the Energy Customer Research: Unlock 7 Key Findings to Better Engage Your Customers.

Read Now Read Now

A Conversation About the Challenges and Opportunities of TOU Rates

By Gaby Margas on

Woman teaching her child to cook

Last week, Uplight hosted utility leaders from around the US in a virtual discussion about time-of-use (TOU) rates, recruiting customers, and how customers can be successful on their new TOU rate. Scott Engstrom, VP of Corporate Strategy and Business Development at GridX as well as Alex Lopez, Sr. Product Marketing Manager and Angela Amos, Director of Market Development also joined the discussion.

While all were at different stages in their rates deployment journey, they agreed that TOU rates are important for creating customer choice–while enabling both behavioral energy efficiency and device-enabled load shifting. When empowered with rate options, customers have a higher satisfaction in, and are more likely to enroll and stay in rate programs. 

According to Alex Lopez, “At Uplight, we believe that a successful TOU rollout is as much about engaging with customers as it is about finding the optimal TOU rate design.”  Getting a customer onto a TOU rate is only the first step. Alex talked about the three critical pieces of the TOU rate rollout puzzle: building awareness around rate programs, inspiring confidence that customers can save on a new rate, and motivating customers to take action by enrolling and beyond enrollment through onboarding and ongoing coaching. 

According to this particular group of utility leaders, 65% of them offered an opt-in residential TOU rate, while 17% offered an opt-out/default rate program. Only 50% of those members actively market their TOU program. 

And 60% of the group noted that customer participation is a challenge. This aligns with data from the Energy Information Administration: only 7% of residential customers are enrolled in time varying rates (TVR) despite 64% of residential customers having access to these rates.

To combat rates inertia and boost enrollment, working group participants have used multichannel marketing, bill comparison tools, and AMI self-service data. To increase retention, one utility sends nurture emails in the six weeks following the switch to help customers understand changes in their bill, whether increases or decreases.

Some utilities also use enabling technology such as smart thermostats to help customers optimize their energy usage with their rate so that customers don’t even have to think about peak and non-peak usage. 

An intentional customer engagement strategy that evolves to meet customer expectations at each stage of this TOU journey will allow customers to succeed in managing their bills under TOU, improve satisfaction with the TOU rate, and reduce customer churn. Contact Uplight to learn more about our Rates Adoption and Customer Experience solutions

Industry Insights

You might also enjoy:

Man Opening Box

Industry Insights


Helping Customers Weather the Recession with Marketplace

By Crystal Leaver on October 03, 2022

Uplight Roof View with Solar Panels

Uplight News

Uplight’s Social and Environmental Impact in 2021

By Crystal Leaver on September 26, 2022