Energy utilities in the U.S. are making significant strides in educating and engaging their customers about how to better control how much energy they use, the resulting costs they incur and the benefits of shifting their consumption. New installations and activations of Smart Meters combined with the deployment of Smart Grid infrastructure herald a new era of energy management by utilities and consumers alike.
The case studies collected below by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative spotlight how Smart Meter / Smart Grid deployments by these utilities have engaged consumers to enable them to match the energy they use with their needs and lifestyles. In every case, the engagement strategies and tactics employed by the utilities have led to behavioral change as customers have actually reduced their electricity bills.
This list of utility case studies is not meant to be a definitive tally of successful consumer engagement by utilities. There are other utilities in the U.S., including those owned by governments, that have demonstrated considerable progress in engaging their customers about what Smart Grid investments mean to them.
View and download each individual case study:
|Baltimore Gas & Electric Company
When Baltimore Gas & Electric Company (BGE) installed smart meters throughout their service area, the company began a journey of increasing customer engagement. That journey has been marked by a coherent strategy that engages customers while it balances demands on support systems within the company.
Capitalizing on both Black Friday and the approaching holiday season, CPS Energy employed a multi-pronged marketing campaign to increase enrollment in their BYOT (bring your own thermostat) demand response program. CPS Energy’s grassroots approach included print, radio, television, digital, social, in-store, and direct to consumer marketing efforts.
As Pepco installed smart meters throughout their service area in Maryland, customer engagement and satisfaction were held as central tenants that would influence the success of their programs. Empowering consumers with the tools to manage their energy usage, Pepco offers “two ways to save.”
|Sacramento Municipal Utility District
As part of ARRA, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) was awarded funding to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy Consumer Behavior Studies. Through their SmartPricing Options Pilot Program, SMUD tested the effects of dynamic pricing and enabling smart grid technologies on peak load shaving, energy conservation, and customer satisfaction.
|Snohomish County PUD
SnoPUD’s Solar Express Program encourages residents to install grid-connected rooftop solar systems in exchange for a per-kilowatt hour incentive. SnoPUD has had tremendous success in recruiting customers to the Solar Express Program through varied channels that utilize both traditional and new media.
|WeatherBug Home & CenterPoint Energy
Integrating their forecasting and modeling capabilities, WeatherBug Home developed unique energy profiles for individual homes and utilized Wi-Fi connected Smart Thermostats to sell demand response capacity to CenterPoint Energy. Each home participating in the demand response program reduced their demand by 1.76 kilowatts.
|Fort Collins Utilities
When Fort Collins Utilities received a Smart Grid Investment Grant in 2009, they were able to kick-start their Advanced Metering project and lay the groundwork for their Peak Partners Demand Response Program. Building upon their success, Fort Collins Utilities has used the wealth of information collected to help refine the Peak Partners program and improve customer engagement.
2013 – 2014
Judging by surveys of their customers and illuminating testimonials, when CenterPoint Energy talks about “creating an intelligent future … today” they are making noteworthy strides in doing so and are demonstrating a consumer-centric approach.
|Florida Power & Light
In 2013, Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) completed one of the largest and most comprehensive smart grid rollouts in the United States to date. In total, more than 4.6 million smart meters and 11,500 additional intelligent devices were installed.
Since the 1970s, Gulf Power has established a proven track record with its customers of delivering innovative customer-focused energy conservation programs. Gulf Power now has AMI in place and the Energy Select program where customers drive the program.
|Oklahoma Gas & Electric
Oklahoma Gas & Electric (OG&E) embarked on installing its Advanced Metering Infrastructure in 2008, rolled out their Smart Meters in phases, and offered a “SmartHours” program beginning in Norman, Oklahoma in 2010.
|San Diego Gas & Electric
From the beginning of 2009 through the scaling up of Smart Meter-enabled applications in 2012, the Stakeholder Education Group at SDG&E responsible for the customer experience has been focused primarily on one goal: transparency with customers.
|Southern California Edison
As 2012 came to a close, Southern California Edison (SCE) was completing final Smart Meter installations for nearly 5 million residential and small business accounts located throughout its 50,000-square-mile service territory.