Online marketplaces aren’t only for Amazon and utilities anymore. On July 2, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and Enervee announced that they are partnering to give energy product purchasers a new way to shop. This in-kind partnership will provide free resources that combine ACEEE’s efficiency expertise with Enervee’s data, analytics, and marketing capabilities to make it easier for consumers to find the most efficient products that meet their needs.
How Will the ACEEE/Enervee Marketplace Work?
The concept involves a two-step process. When a consumer is ready to purchase a new product, they can visit SmarterHouse to find ACEEE’s energy-saving tips and buying guidance. There, they can view a summary of the most efficient product models available today, featuring the 0-100 Enervee Score. Once they decide on a purchase choice, they will be directed to Enervee’s portal, where they will find detailed product information, pricing, and incentives offered by their utility.
ACEEE and Enervee will share key takeaways to consumers via the SmarterHouse Energy Saver blog and to energy efficiency professionals via ACEEE’s blog. For example, Enervee tracks model-level retail price offers and product market trends, offering a dataset that can provide insights into online shopping behavior, effective messaging, and consumer response to utility program offerings.
Enervee’s vice president of market development, Dr. Anne Arquit Niederberger, said “ACEEE’s large team of researchers and analysts will amplify our ability to tease out valuable insights from our data. And our utility clients will benefit from the informed audience that SmarterHouse channels to their consumer-facing marketplaces.”
Rather than competing with its current portfolio of utility marketplace customers, Enervee believes that this partnership will benefit its utility clients, as choose.enervee.com informs visitors of available utility rebates and these customers will be people pre-conditioned to seek out energy efficient products. For smaller utilities, Enervee may develop an interface that allows them to input their incentive data themselves.
Customer Engagement Continues to Become More Popular
This trend toward more energy customer engagement and marketplace opportunities is highlighted in the recent Navigant Research report Utility Customer Engagement through Demand Side Management. Most of this activity has taken place through the utility channel, but there are more examples of competitive energy suppliers, product manufacturers, and now non-profits trying to reach customers and influence their buying behavior.
Other Customer Engagement Programs
Another current example of this trend is Shave the Peak, a new program sponsored by the Mass Energy Consumers Alliance and by People’s Power and Light, two non-profit energy organizations. The goal is to get people to reduce their peak loads during grid peak days, not through financial incentives but by appealing to their environmental and community sensibilities. Local utilities like National Grid have their own demand response programs to try to achieve the same goals, but these non-utility outlets might fill a need and reach a different audience than utilities traditionally meet.
The transition for the energy industry to become more consumer-friendly will continue, and many traditional and non-traditional players will lead the way.
Tags: Customer Engagement, Energy Efficiency, Internet of Things, Utility Customer Engagement, Utility Technologies
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