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Press Release

Consumers Energy Partners with Uplight to Empower Utility Customers With Personalized Tools Enabling a Transition to Clean Energy

  • First-of-its-kind deal creates largest smart thermostat driven demand response program in the country, targeting 100,000 homes by 2022

Boulder, Colo. – Mar 10, 2020

Consumers Energy selected Uplight, the leader in connected customer energy experiences, to provide customers with Uplight’s full suite of products and guide them to the best individualized actions available to save energy and money.

“As part of our Clean Energy Plan, we’ve set a yearly goal to help our customers decrease their energy usage by 2 percent, and we sought out Uplight’s partnership to help us meet our ambitious goal,” said Brian Rich, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience & Technology and Chief Customer Officer at Consumers Energy. “We’ve seen first-hand how Uplight’s connected products deliver increased energy savings for our customers and create a better customer experience than individual point solutions. We believe Uplight’s tools deployed at scale will play an instrumental role in achieving our Clean Energy Plan.”

Leveraging Uplight’s personalized suite of tools designed to create end-to-end customer journeys, Consumers Energy will offer the following interconnected programs:

  • Marketplace: Uplight offers a one-stop-shop for customers to purchase energy-related products and services while being able to sign up for relevant programs like demand response—creating significant uptakes in program enrollment. 
  • Orchestrated Energy: Uplight’s demand management solution allows utilities to shift 20 to 40 percent more load per customer during peak usage alleviating strain on the energy grid and increasing customer satisfaction.
  • Home Energy Reports: Launching in 2020, more than 300,000 Consumers Energy customers will have access to data-driven and personalized reports that help users adopt more energy efficient behaviors. Depending on the needs of the customer, recommendations will prompt users to take advantage of offerings in the Marketplace and enrollment in Orchestrated Energy.
  • Customer Web Portals: Accessible to all Consumers Energy residential and business customers, this digital customer engagement dashboard shows detailed energy usage information and rate education alongside personalized tips and actions for energy savings.

“We think that Consumers Energy represents the future for utilities—creating customer journeys that deliver customized energy actions to reduce energy usage and allowing the utility to shift away from coal to renewable energy,” said Adrian Tuck, CEO of Uplight. “The next decade represents a pivotal time for utilities. Consumers Energy is forging a new path focused on better outcomes for customers, and we think others should take note.”

In the summer of 2019, Consumers Energy deployed an Uplight Orchestrated Energy pilot as part of a plan to provide demand flexibility while the utility begins its transition to 90 percent renewables. Orchestrated Energy’s unique behavioral science allows the utility to customize a day-ahead schedule for the customer that pre-cools their house based on weather forecasts, the thermal envelope of the house and the load-shifting needs of the grid. The utility achieved an average of nearly 75 percent of available load shifted per 4-hour event. This resulted in an average of 1.2 kW of demand reduction per home, and maxed out at 1.6kW in the best hour. This is more than 2x the demand reductions achieved in comparable programs in the region.

Other Program Highlights Include: 

  • Enrollment Multiplier: Uplight’s unique ability to allow a customer to sign up for a demand response program when they purchase a smart thermostat on the Marketplace resulted in higher thermostat sales and higher demand response program enrollment. This connected approach accomplishes enrollment rates as high as 80 percent versus the standard 10-20 percent enrollment rates utilities see using separate processes.
  • Cross-Program Performance: On days when demand response is not required, Consumers Energy will be leveraging the Orchestrated Energy rollout to support demand flexibility.
  • High Customer Satisfaction: Ninety percent of participants in the Consumers Orchestrated Energy program would recommend the program to a friend. 
  • Increased Scale: Consumers Energy plans to expand the program to more than 50,000 homes by 2021 and 100,000 homes by 2022, creating the largest smart thermostat demand response programs in the country.

Read more about how Uplight is helping Consumers Energy transition to a clean energy future in the Wall Street Journal.

About Uplight

Uplight is powering the customer energy experience for more than 85 electric and gas utilities around the globe. Uplight provides the market’s leading energy applications for Demand Side Management, Energy Analytics, Disaggregation, Utility Marketplaces, Utility Personalization, Home Energy Management, Demand Response and more. Connected by a unique Energy Personalization Architecture, Uplight’s platform blends advanced data science with energy-specific analytics, enabling utilities to create personalized customer experiences that improve customer satisfaction, reduce service costs, increase revenue, and deliver sustainable energy outcomes—all in a simple, fast, and cost-effective way. A certified B Corporation, Uplight is on a mission to build a more sustainable future by accelerating the clean energy ecosystem. To learn more, visit us at www.uplight.com, find us on Twitter @uplight or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/uplightenergy.