Customer-Utility Relationship Enhanced Through New Partnerships

The Enervee and Opower partnership allows utility customers to take action on energy saving recommendations.
Published: Fri 08 Jan 2016

Short of refitting your entire home, buying energy efficient products is not only an efficient way to save energy but it is also one of the most effective ways to engage consumers who ordinarily opt out of energy initiatives. It’s also an effective way to reach out to those hard to engage consumers. [Appliance Energy Efficiency Platform To Boost Customer Engagement]

Buying energy efficient products is not only an effective way of reducing energy costs and environmental footprints, it is also one of the most achievable outcomes even with consumers who ordinarily choose to opt out of energy saving programmes.

Enervee, a platform-oriented company, picked up on this opportunity and is now  successfully driving energy efficiency and consumer engagement through a suite of Software as a Service (SaaS) products that can change how energy consumers purchase electrical appliances. These products include Marketplace, Storefront, Charge, Home and Insights.

But, in an attempt to reach a wider clientele, Enervee has partnered with Opower, an enterprise software company that helps utilities elevate the customer experience.

Making energy savings actionable

The aim of the partnership is to make energy savings recommendations actionable for utility customers.

The partnership comes at a perfect time as Enervee launches its Enervee Charge solution which enables retailers to build consumer engagement and sales around energy efficient products. Enervee Charge basically gives retailers the opportunity to offer online shoppers more energy efficient products along with utility-backed incentives, all at the point of sale.

As utilities ramp up efforts to engage their customer bases and build up their reputations as trusted energy advisors, this partnership allows Enervee to integrate its SaaS Marketplace solution with Opower’s customer engagement platform.

Enervee’s lead product is Marketplace – a utility-customizable shopping platform that allows customers to browse, filter and ultimately choose appliances and products based on multiple criteria. Marketplace aggregates information including purchase price, rebates and other incentives, as well as the Enervee Score – Enervee’s daily-fresh energy efficiency product ranking.

While this is a great opportunity for Enervee to rapidly rollout a compelling buying experience for millions of energy customers across the US and potentially beyond through Opower’s industry-leading software platform, utilities stand to gain their customers’ trust and improve loyalty. This could open the door to even more services and products, offered by the utility, being accepted by the utility customer.[The New Energy Consumer Demands Innovation] and [Building Digital Trust Will Open Doors for Utilities].

Utilities as energy advisors

Opower CEO, Dan Yates says that customers are being exposed more than ever to options when it comes to energy products and advice but utilities are in the pound seat when it comes to customer trust (especially that of a digitally engaged consumer) according to research undertaken by Accenture. Through a poll of over 11,000 energy consumers in 21 countries, Accenture revealed that 41% of digitally engaged consumers (people who have interacted through digital channels within the past year) trust their energy provider to help them optimize their energy consumption, versus 31%of non-digital users.[Building Digital Trust Will Open Doors for Utilities].

The Enervee and Opower partnership will help further position utilities as energy advisors, enabling them to expand their relationship with customers beyond the energy bill.This is obviously important as utilities look for other sources of revenue in the energy system of tomorrow.

Utilities can use this platform to deliver their incentive programmes to the widest audience possible. It really is a win-win: for utilities, retailers, consumers and the environment overall.

While this story certainly has a happy ending for all, we do wonder why utilities are still not taking the lead and coming up with more innovative solutions themselves because there will come a time when these innovative companies will deal directly with energy consumers who have left their traditional energy supplier thanks to the adoption of cost-effective onsite generation, energy storage and energy management solutions. A really good example of this is Metry which is already contacting energy consumers across the customer segments directly. This new entrant collects consumption data from the consumer directly and advises them online how to save money on their energy bills.

It’s only a matter of time before utilities see themselves being excluded from this market opportunity if they don’t do something seriously innovative soon !