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Energy Insights For Your On-Peak and Off-Peak Needs

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Utility consumer engagement programs are only as good the timeliness of their data and the ease through which actionable insights can be delivered. Rate-payers may still be more likely to engage with their consumer product companies, banks and cell phone carriers than with their utility but change is being delivered to your nearest smartphone. Technology is the great enablers and utilities from Baltimore Gas & Electric (BGE) to California's progressive utilities and beyond are implementing solutions that provide easy to understand usage data and incentives on to utilize energy more efficiently. But where does that leave utilities with historically complex on-peak and off-peak pricing structures? With machine learning and vastly improved mobile user interfaces, BGE customers are receiving a lot more than energy reports comparing their usage to their neighbors or to their usage trends earlier in the year. On-Peak and Off-Peak rates are calculated internally by several factors often including overall demand on the grid and the availability of renewable energy. To that end, utility users need more insights sent to them electronically at the right interval to incentivize particular behaviors. Behavior such as precooling a home during the summer months so consumers aren't blasting the A/C during peak hours resulting in more grid strain. Or receiving day ahead energy signals for customers with Electric Vehicles letting them focus their charging during off-peak hours. 

For BGE, this missing component is being provided by Opower's Behavioral Load Shaping Cloud Service. Providing a "proactive, personalized experience designed to help customers with their utility bills", the Opower solution from Oracle Utilities helps customers shift their load to non-peak times. Insights sent to customers include weekly peak and off-peak spending comparisons, and data for shifting the largest energy loads (read: major appliance use, HVAC and EV charging) to period of lower use. Price responsiveness combined with better usage insights are transforming utilities and will continue to do so. How is your utility delivering actionable insights to its customers? 

Areg Bagdasarian's picture

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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Dec 20, 2019 6:36 pm GMT

Rate-payers may still be more likely to engage with their consumer product companies, banks and cell phone carriers than with their utility but change is being delivered to your nearest smartphone

Great comparisons-- banks/cell phone companies are just as ubiquitous to daily lives, but there's something different about the customer offerings that make you check in on those more than the many customers who simply pay their power bills and then don't think about the utility again for another 30 days. We're in a transformative moment in the industry's history to change that relationship

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