Going Beyond Energy Efficiency Compliancy

US-based company Simple Energy is bringing its concept of “fun and social” energy efficiency to Europe.
Published: Mon 05 Jan 2015

Simple Energy, a Colorado-based Software-as-a-Service company, is focused on making energy efficiency fun, social, and rewarding, connecting utilities and customers in new and exciting ways. A big part of this is through utility gamification and rewards programs. The company is aiming to bring its solutions to the European market.

Saving energy and the customer-utility relationship

Yoav Lurie from Simple Energy, told Engerati that the company has received “overwhelmingly” positive feedback from clients using their software platform. It also seems to be improving the customer-utility relationship. Lurie says, “Customers are saying that for the first time they feel like their utility is with them, instead of against them.”

Simple Energy has also managed to save over 100 million kWh to date and been able to deliver results above and beyond standard industry benchmarks. That equates to a reduction in over 60,000 tons of carbon emissions. The company’s energy savings results have been verified by third-party EM&V vendors.

Lurie points to the following numbers which show how Simple Energy’s software solutions are growing in popularity in the US:

  • Email open rates among customers activated in Simple Energy programs consistently remain above 30% even after 16 months, providing a measure for persistence of engagement.

  • Average visitor sessions on utility branded Simple Energy program sites last ~4 minutes, showing that customers are interested and engaged with the site content.

  • Simple Energy has delivered 2 - 3 times the results of standard paper-based programs, demonstrating an increased ability to drive desired customer behaviours.

  • By delivering targeted program recommendations to the right customers, at the right time, 100% of activated Simple Energy users participate in complementary Demand Side Management programs.
     

Simple Energy is currently partnering with six of the top utilities in the US. Currently, the company has four programs live: two in the US and two in Canada. “Each of our programmes is branded for the individual utility partner. The feedback on Simple Energy has been positive from both our utility partners and their customers.”

Norman Vickers, Simple Energy’s Managing Director for EMEA says “In working with US-based utilities, we find that a growing number of them are looking to go beyond energy efficiency compliance and start building a better industry. We believe that utilities can leverage customer engagement practices to attract customers, empower them to take ownership of their energy consumption and create a mutually-beneficial partnership between utility and customer.”

Energy efficiency in Europe

Simple Energy is also getting ready to announce its expansion into the European market. Lurie points out that Europeans are paying higher prices for electricity and are generally more environmentally conscious than many Americans. “This creates a prime environment for behavioural energy efficiency programs,” explains Lurie. He adds that the European market is ideally aligned with Simple Energy’s product offering. “The structure of utility agreements in Europe paves the way for ingenuity, competition, and the opportunity for a better overall energy experience for residential consumers. With our software, we’re able to refine the utility-consumer relationship in a way that makes real business sense for European utilities and helps build a more sustainable future.”

Vickers says, “We’re excited to bring Simple Energy to Europe and to work with utilities to increase customer satisfaction, reduce customer churn, and help customers take ownership of their energy consumption through a platform that makes the process social, fun, and simple.”

Tapping into customers’ needs

Lurie says that their success can be accounted to the fact that they have been able to transform data into things people actually care about and experiences that inspire action. He explains, “We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach for customer engagement. Delivering usage data in charts and graphs just isn’t enough to motivate most people to make a lasting, meaningful change in their behaviours.”

Lurie adds that they have discovered that different motivations work for different people and that those motivations change over time. As a result, the company offers a range of experiences that target individual desires rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

Simply Energy’s offering was chosen as one of the runners-up for the most innovative product in the Smart Home and End-User Engagement category at European Utility Week 2014 . [Engerati - Leak Busting Leads Smart Home Innovation.]