In the US, Chicago's ComED has selected utility software company Opower's demand-side management programme in a bid to cut energy consumption by 200,000 MWh annually, and increase customer engagement with targeted information through multi-channel communications.
The demand side management programme will help ComED segment its customer database and aggregate data for more than 1.5 million of its residential customers, helping the utility to deliver tailored energy consumption information.
The DSM platform also allows ComED to connect with customers via their prefered communication channel, either through the web, interactive voice response and paper to increase consumer involvement.
According to Val Jensen, senior vice president of customer operations for ComED: "Our objective is to put control in our customer' hands.
"Personalized communications, customized home energy reports, and demand response are some of the many tools we offer customers to help them better manage their energy use."
Adding to this, the Illinois-based utility serving the Chicago and Northern Illinois service area is scheduled to implement Opower's Behavioural Demand Response solution to employ Peak Time Savings, envisioned to help customers save money by crediting the electricity bills for reducing energy use during high demand periods.
Customers can earn US$1 credit on their bills for every 1kWh of electricity reduced during peak demand periods.
Recognising the value of customer engagement
Furthering its customer enagement efforts, ComEd in February announced that it is working with energy analytics service provider Bidgely to test a new customer engagement solution.
ComEd is launching a pilot to test Bidgely’s HomeBeat energy monitor and Web & Mobile solution, which will deliver personalized energy reports detailing energy consumption.
ComEd is claiming to be first to market with this technology.
During the pilot, the utility will give a HomeBeat energy monitor to 250 customers in Northern Illinois, which will allow them to connect to their ComEd smart meter and provide real-time data to the Bidgely cloud.
An additional 2,500 ComEd from its 3.8 million customer base will receive access to Bidgely’s HomeBeat Web & Mobile platform, which utilizes information collected and sent over the ComEd smart meter network to Bidgely’s cloud.
Bidgely’s HomeBeat platform will provide personalized appliance-level insights through the company’s disaggregation-based solution.
The pilot is expected to launch in Q1 and will run for approximately six months.