EnergySavvy continues to ink energy efficiency deals with large utility clients. Its energy efficiency platform will be used by Salt River Project, Public Service of New Mexico and New Mexico Gas Company, according to news released today.
Salt River Project, in particular, is a utility known for its high customer satisfaction and innovation in what it offers its customers. It has had a successful time-of-use pricing and pre-pay program, long before smart meters were commonplace.
“[Salt River Project] is in a category of utilities where the customer journey doesn’t end,” said Aaron Goldfeder, CEO and co-founder of EnergySavvy. “There’s a constant cycle of improvement.”
The Seattle-based company started with an online audit tool that helped utilities target customers for their energy efficiency programs. It now offers an enterprise platform that brings the entire stakeholder chain -- from customers to contractors to the utility -- into one place.
SRP, along with the two New Mexico utilities, will use EnergySavvy’s platform to drive energy efficiency participation. SRP is also using EnergySavvy to automate and improve the Energy Star program. “We’re working with EnergySavvy to continue to scale our programs and maintain our position among the top-performing utilities nationwide,” Nathan Morey, manager of product development at SRP, said in a statement.
“Two or three years from now, [utilities] will look back and be like, ‘Wow, remember when we did this all by hand?'” said Goldfeder.
For now, however, paper-based, people-heavy operations are all too common. But utilities have increasingly picked the lowest-hanging fruit to meet energy efficiency targets, such as handing out CFL light bulbs and helping large commercial clients with efficiency upgrades.
Now, utilities need to tackle more complicated projects, such as making inroads with small and medium-sized businesses. Regulators, lenders and everyone in between are also looking for more data. “Everyone is really thirsty for faster information,” said Goldfeder. “Investors don’t want that data two years later.”
EnergySavvy is one of the only players in the energy efficiency market to focus on the entire project management of utilities’ energy efficiency programs, rather than just segmenting customers to help utilities target the programs. “Obviously, you have to have customer engagement,” said Goldfeder, “but I think the next forefront is energy efficiency quantification.”
Goldfeder said the utilities using their software can get instant feedback on how a program is being implemented, rather than waiting for months or a year after the program is done to see how it performed.
For one utility customer, it had calculated how much savings should come from offering air sealing in homes. But six months in, they weren’t seeing as much savings as they had anticipated. By seeing those results as the program is being deployed, the utility can decide to switch tactics while they’re still executing the program.
Goldfeder noted that utilities spend hundreds of millions of dollars annually on measurement and verification of their demand-side management programs, so helping utilities do that more efficienctly is a huge market by itself. For one client, EnergySavvy said it delivered an 80 percent cost reduction in rebate processing. Because most energy efficiency programs are rate-based, that is money that utility customers should demand be used more wisely.
For CPS Energy, EnergySavvy sliced the cost of a customer acquisition for a retrofit from nearly $1,500 to $238. CPS also saw three times as many completed retrofits as it had when it started with in-home retrofits.
It won’t just be more utility clients EnergySavvy expects to announce in 2015. “This year is going to be a big partnering year,” said Goldfeder.