As the human population and its demand for resources continues to grow globally, so does the necessity for utility providers to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. This can be achieved through the creation of conservation and demand management strategies.
Conservation and demand management is a strategic long-term plan that a utility provider has created that includes detailed objectives for how they will manage energy conservation and demand. The idea is to build policies and experiences that encourage customers to modify their demand for utility services, including reducing their usage during peak hours.
This provides benefits for both utility providers and the customer. Firstly, utilities will be able to improve their customer experience and create a customer base that will be satisfied with the service the utility is offering. Secondly, conservation and demand management programs – if developed correctly – will place utilities in a far better position to achieve their sustainability goals.
In this blog, we explore the methods that utility providers can use to ensure their customer experience (CX) strategy is aligned with their conservation and demand management program, and how a customer portal solution can help.
How can utilities implement conservation and demand management programs?
Any utility conservation and demand management program should be closely entwined with the customer experience. Consumer engagement, education initiatives and user incentives are all key elements of successful conservation and demand management programs.
A utility provider’s conservation and demand management plan should provide information to customers on their usage, encourage customers to change their consumption habits, as well as educate consumers on how they can use new technologies and read data in order to use energy more efficiently.
To ensure your utility is able to achieve this, SilverBlaze has listed a few of the key tools and initiatives utility providers must consider implementing for a conservation and demand management program to be successful.
Insightful customer usage and analytics: Offering your customers insightful usage data, analytics and reports that they can use to change their personal consumption behaviours is one of the most powerful tools in any conservation and demand management program. Customers can use this data to reduce their overall utility usage, reduce their utility usage during peak hours, and make behavioural changes that reduce their carbon footprint.
Notifications and alerts: Your customer can’t make behavioural consumption changes if usage data is tucked away somewhere they can’t find it. Notifications and alerts are a fantastic way to send real-time information to your customer that encourages them to make changes to how they are consuming their utilities. For example, when an electricity usage threshold is set by the customer, and usage for the month is fast approaching the threshold then an alert will be sent to the homeowner to notify them. If alerts like this become frequent, awareness of the user becomes heightened, and therefore they can now make a conscious, educated decision towards energy conservation.
Information on government incentives: Municipalities often introduce their own local initiatives – such as financial incentives, rebates, promotions, awareness campaigns and educational websites – to encourage consumers to change their consumption habits. It’s in both your utility’s and your customer’s best interest to ensure your customers are aware of these campaigns. The next step would then be to source tools that would help customers navigate and apply for the initiative(s) to simplify the process for your utility’s customers.
How a customer portal allows you to seamlessly offer these to your customer
To seamlessly deliver this information to your customer in an engaging and effortless experience, it’s important that you consolidate all of these efforts onto one platform.
That’s why your utility should use a customer portal solution, such as the SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities.
The SilverBlaze Customer Portal for Utilities provides your customers with access to insightful usage analytics, smart metering functionality, multi-device notifications and alerts, informational updates and much more – everything both your utility and your customers need to build a relationship that encourages sustainable consumption habits.
A customer portal solution that provides insightful information to your customers in a timely manner will ensure your customers can save money and reduce their carbon footprint, in addition to helping your utility to meet its own conservation and demand management targets.
Want to learn more? Contact SilverBlaze today. Our team of customer portal and customer experience experts would love to answer any questions you have about combining your CX strategy with a successful conservation and demand management program.