Consumers are used to receiving recommendations for how they can improve the energy efficiency of their home, perhaps even immune to them. The mailings come from all quarters, including utility companies, contractors, solar heating firms and more.
Often the offers and information fall on deaf ears because they lack a key component: personalization. At the recent TechAdvantage conference and expo in Orlando, Schneider Electric’s North American Wiser group was showing off some technology that promises to change that dynamic.
The Wiser Efficiency Advisor platform enables utilities to use the data they collect on customers to provide far more personalized offers and programs around energy efficiency, says Mike Matthews, Business Development Manager for Schneider Electric.
Efficiency Advisor is a web-based platform that integrates with a utility’s existing web site and smart phone or tablet apps, so consumers don’t have to be educated on logging in to another tools.
“What Efficiency Advisor does is organizes a selection list for upgrades that can be done to the home that make sense for that homeowner, [given] their lifestyle, their family, their home’s age,” Matthews says.
What’s more, the platform presents the information in such a way that it shows the return on investment the customer can expect from the upgrade. It can even recommend various actions the user can take if they’re interested in pursuing the upgrade – from where to buy the product in question to help with installation.
“Before you could be told you need to replace your air conditioning system. That’s an overwhelming task for most consumers,” he says. Efficiency Advisor will connect the consumer with a contractor who can do the work, vendors from which to buy the materials and even financing options, if need be.
Utilities gain at least a couple of benefits from the platform. For one, it can be used to help them launch new energy efficiency initiatives, including demand response, variable price and time of use programs that can deliver lower bills for participants.
“This is a utility program designed to make the grid more efficient and, in turn, provide savings for the consumer and lower rates,” Matthews says. The platform can also help utilities measure and validate how much savings a given program drives for customers, which can help them justify funds to pay for other, similar programs or to expand existing ones.
Check out this video to see my full conversation with Matthews from the TechAdvantage event:
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