Because of the urgency of our climate change crisis, energy efficiency is part of everything that we do at Uplight as we aim to create a more sustainable planet. That’s why Uplight employees in all offices joined the National Climate Strike to declare a climate emergency–one of the largest climate events in history. Naturally, National Energy Efficiency Day is one of our favorite holidays at Uplight.
Quite simply, energy efficiency is the cheapest, quickest way to meet our energy needs, cut consumers’ utility bills, and reduce pollution. As utilities become more customer centric and face the threats of climate change, energy efficiency becomes more important than ever. ACEEE has also noted an increased commitment by states to ambitious clean energy goals, including adopting stricter appliance standards, building energy codes, and zero-emission vehicle programs.
While energy efficiency is one of the oldest and cost-effective conservation measures, it is also continually evolving. Here are some trends we’re seeing this year in energy efficiency in the industry.
Energy Efficiency Gets Active
For years, most energy efficiency recommendations have concentrated on switching to LED bulbs, insulated your house, or buying more energy efficient appliances. No longer is energy efficiency limited to these static components. ASE tasks the industry with a more systemic approach to energy efficiency looking at how the pieces fit together as well as incorporating a wider range of features in efficiency tools. In Active Efficiency, energy providers would also incorporate more time responsive and integrated tools that have a broader range of benefits. For example, smart thermostats can be programmed to help customers to save energy and money while also maximizing comfort.
Energy Efficiency Gets Easier
Historically, customers have had to do their homework to be more energy efficient. With increasing customer expectations, it’s now up to utilities to make it easy for customers by personalizing recommendations and making it easy for customers to take the next step by reducing friction in the enrollment or purchase process. This could mean offering an instant rebate through a marketplace or enabling voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri to tell customers where in their home or business they are using the most energy and actions they can take to save energy and money.
Load Disaggregation Enables Better Personalization
We’ve found that one of the most useful features of Home Energy Reports (HERs) and engagement portal for utility customers is the ability to break down energy use within the home and/or building. It is the most popular element in Uplight’s HER programs. Disaggregation enables utilities to use hourly smart meter data to determine which loads are best to shift to different times of day, and which programs or EE tips have the highest value for each individual customer. These personalized recommendations for each customer’s next-best-action are a huge step forward from “one size fits all” EE programs. Disaggregation also helps customers get the best value out of time-of-use rate programs by using EE to match their load to lowest-cost or greenest-time energy.
Uplight Helps Utility Customers Succeed
Finally, we also couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share a few recent energy efficiency-related customer successes on National Energy Efficiency Day! Here are a few worth celebrating:
- Via Uplight’s Home Energy Reports, Duke Energy added 178,000 new participants to their DSM programs, with a 76% high usage alert open rate.
- Indiana Michigan Power saved over 263 MWh of energy over 4 months using Uplight’s Orchestrated Energy.
- A large Southwestern IOU transitioned its residential customers to new TOU and demand rates with a goal of getting customers on to service plans that best fit their needs. This required educating customers about their new plans, but also how to best manage their energy bill. Powered by a robust stack of AMI interval data, historical usage information and machine-learning methodologies, Uplight helped this utility segment their customers by service plans, analyze on- and off-peak usage and demand patterns, and then delivered next-best-actions tailored to each customer through more personalized energy reports.
Happy Energy Efficiency Day from everyone at Uplight! These are just a few examples of how the energy industry, Uplight, and our customers are powering the clean energy future. To celebrate, enter our free giveaway by October 11!