New eBook: Unlocking Load Flexibility Potential

By Kate Devitt on

With increasing summer and decreasing winter temperatures, load shift is becoming a critical tool for utilities to prevent grid strain and blackouts. Uplight’s new ebook, “Unlocking Load Flexibility Potential: Understanding Customer Knowledge, Barriers, and Experiences”, unveils how to maximize participation in load flexibility programs, such as time-of-use (TOU) rates and demand response (DR). 

Part of Uplight’s annual Voice of the Energy Customer, Uplight conducted surveys with approximately 1,000 customers in the United States to understand customer knowledge, motivations, barriers, and experiences regarding these programs. Here are the key findings:

  1. Utility touchpoints are the main drivers of load flexibility program education, but word-of-mouth recruitment, particularly from friends and family, is also significant. 
  2. Ownership of high-investment distributed energy resources (DERs), such as solar panels, electric vehicles, battery storage, and smart thermostats, predicts program participation while utility trust is a predictor of interest. 
  3. Load flexibility programs have the lowest customer satisfaction compared to other utility programs. 
  4. Receiving more information about program benefits improves customers’ perceptions of a load flexibility program and is crucial for capturing interest. 
  5. Many customers don’t understand how load flexibility programs work and the benefits they provide––even if they are enrolled in a program. 
  6. Financial incentives are not seen as major benefits for existing participants. Instead these customers value bill savings, energy savings, and being a good energy citizen.
  7. Free or discounted smart thermostats rank low as incentives for load flexibility program participation, while select financial rewards, such as receiving a monthly payment that is equal to the amount unused during critical periods, rank highest. 

 

Download our ebook to learn more about these findings, what they mean for utilities, and how utilities can drive enrollment and satisfaction in load flexibility programs.

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