Willdan thought leaders will be presenting on three topics in conjunction with client utilities at the Energy Efficiency as a Resource conference by the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE) September 20 - 22, 2015 in Little Rock Arkansas.
Dan Comperchio with ComEd Smart Ideas: Leveraging Energy Efficiency in Data Centers: Highly-Effective Program Design for Specialized Large Customers. ABSTRACT
Craig Owens with Southern California Edison: Groundbreaking Healthcare Program Generates Innovative Approach to Accessing Hard-to-Reach Customers. ABSTRACT
Puget Sound Energy: The Blitz is On, An Innovative Customer Approach that Results in Increased Conversion Rates and Cost Effectiveness. ABSTRACT
Leveraging Energy Efficiency in Data Centers: Highly-Effective Program Design for Specialized Large Customers
Data centers have traditionally been a hard to reach segment of the commercial market due to highly specialized operations and technologies. Additionally, the demands of their customers and stakeholders regarding reliability, security, redundancy and ‘always-on’ uptime requirements makes these customers difficult to engage in energy efficiency programs. Often seen as a drain on critical resources, data center operators frequently decide to forgo utility programs due to misalignment of incentives and rebates as well as a lack of technical resources through the programs. However, data centers present a huge opportunity for energy efficiency programs. The industry is making energy efficiency more of a priority and with customers often in the multi-megawatts of demand; a targeted program can be very successful.
Since the launch of a pilot program in 2012, ComEd has had tremendous success in northern Illinois verifying over 45 million kWh in energy savings at an average project size of over 1 million kWh. The program was designed around reaching data center owners through the use of specialized outreach and custom incentive structures dedicated to the needs of the industry. Rather than being seen as a general program, ComEd’s offering provides data centers with expert technical guidance to not only assist with applications but also provide insight and support throughout implementation; often helping the operators optimize the systems after installations. The result of this multi-year effort is a highly collaborative environment with over 70% repeat participation and data centers owners coming to ComEd for assistance and advice on new opportunities.
Groundbreaking Healthcare Program Generates Innovative Approach to Accessing Hard-to-Reach Customers
In 2008, Southern California Edison implemented a comprehensive healthcare energy efficiency program (HEEP) for large healthcare programs. This highly successful program has served more than 380 customers to date, and delivered more than 142,700,000 kWh and 18,000 kW in energy savings. The outstanding collaboration between the utility’s assigned healthcare account managers and the implementing firm has been a hallmark of this program. Together, they have provided SCE’s healthcare customers with the hands-on technical assistance and management services necessary to develop comprehensive energy retro-commissioning and retrofit recommendations. Just as exciting, however, has been the program’s successful adaptation to access smaller, hard-to-reach healthcare facility customers, for whom initial capital outlay often proves prohibitive. By offering no-charge direct install measures that can equal up to 30% of the total project cost of the customized measures, many of these smaller healthcare customers are now able participate. This session will provide details regarding how the program was re-designed in 2013 to reach SCE’s smaller healthcare customers.
The Blitz is On: An Innovative Customer Approach that Results in Increased Conversion Rates and Cost Effectiveness
Although small businesses often make up a substantial percentage of a utility’s commercial customer base and overall energy usage, the uptake of energy efficiency measures in this segment is low due to obstacles unique to this customer segment. Puget Sound Energy (PSE) responded to this challenge with an innovative Small Business Direct Install (SBDI) program, targeting these historically underserved and hard-to-reach customers in a way that reduces burden related to energy efficiency projects. The approach reduces time and financial constraints, ensures effective education, and provides immediate results to small business owners. To date, more than 13 million kWh of energy savings have been delivered to more than 2,200 satisfied customers using a powerful co-branded utility/implementer marketing campaign that has overcome traditional organizational barriers.
The SBDI program’s targeted, community-based outreach “blitz” approach provides one-on-one customer outreach in close collaboration with municipalities, chambers of commerce, and downtown associations. The program has successfully built and deployed a team of dedicated senior EE service and sales professionals throughout the PSE territory, successfully developing a trusting relationship with small businesses. SBDI promotes the PSE brand through superior customer service while meeting energy savings goals cost effectively and on schedule, providing a reliable and high-quality delivery of savings throughout PSE’s service territory.
This session will identify program design features, marketing and outreach approaches, and lessons learned over the past three years that can be used by other utilities and program implementers to deliver similar, superior customer service and energy savings in new utility markets and territories.