Customer Corner: Monthly Digest of Insights Shared by Your Peers in the Energy Central Customer Care Group – January 7, 2021

Posted to Energy Central in the Customer Care Group
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Freelance Energy and Technology Researcher and Writer, Final Draft Communications, LLC

Karen Marcus has 25 years of experience as a content developer within the energy and technology industries. She has worked with well-known companies, providing direction, research, writing, and...

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  • Jan 7, 2021

Welcome to the Customer Care Group roundup, Customer Corner. As always, your fellow group members are paying close attention to utility customer care trends and sharing their insights. This month’s selection includes information about obstacles consumers with low incomes face in taking advantage of distributed energy resources (DERs), how businesses can benefit from a utility bill audit, and more. Be sure to like and comment on your favorite posts. Happy reading!


The State of the Media in 2021 - and What It Means to Your Utility 

Andy Gotlieb

Link to original article:

Like many other types of businesses, media companies suffered in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, utilities need to find different ways to work with them. In this piece, Andy Gotlieb, Managing Editor of a specialty publication, offers some tips for continuing to work effectively with the media. For example, you should quickly provide everything reporters and editors need to cover your story, including entire article drafts if they’ll accept them. As you consider the many things that are changing in 2021, remember that your relationship with the media is one.


Xcel Energy Helps Communities Power Through a Challenging Year

Randy Fordice

Link to original article:

In this post, Randy Fordice, Senior Media Relations Representative at Xcel Energy, describes the many ways his company gave back to the communities it serves in 2020. In all, Xcel Energy committed nearly $20 million to short- and long-term giving, including funding for COVID-19 relief, and programs for racial equity and social justice. Individual employees and retirees also contributed $6.2 million and volunteered over 8,500 hours to their favorite nonprofits.


Three Obstacles for Lower-Income Energy Consumers

Patty Durand

Link to original article:

Consumer interest in distributed energy resources (DERs) such as rooftop solar panels, has remained constant recently, even through the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as Patty Durand, President & CEO at Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative (SECC), describes in this article, most adopters of such technologies are wealthy, even though those with lower incomes could potentially benefit from them even more. To discover the barriers for this population, SECC recently conducted an online survey of 1,000 consumers with incomes under $50,000. The results revealed three major challenges: transactional relationships with energy providers, lack of awareness about existing programs, and high up-front costs.    


3 Reasons Why Utility Bill Audits Work

Kelly Curtis

Link to original article:

Here, Kelly Curtis, Managing Partner at Discovery Energy, helps businesses understand what an energy audit is and why they should consider having one performed. She highlights three reasons to do it. First, a utility bill audit costs nothing unless the auditor finds a way to save the company money. Second, regulatory documents and published tariffs are complex, requiring a trained professional to navigate them. Third, 70% of audited companies find ways to reduce their bills, resulting in the potential for significant cost savings.


Thanks again for reading this edition of Customer Corner! The authors listed above are eager to hear your thoughts and questions, so don’t hesitate to engage them. And if you want your content to be featured in this spot in future issues, be sure to publish your posts within the Customer Care Community.

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