Rewards Motivate Customers to Save Big on Energy

By Mallory Combs on May 24, 2016

National Grid adds rewards to its Smart Energy Solutions Program to further motivate customers to save energy.

rewards 2, 270 x 243 copyBoulder, Colo. – 23 May 2016 After realizing 2.3 million kWh in energy savings in the first year of its smart grid pilot program, Massachusetts utility National Grid has upped the ante to achieve even greater savings in 2016. The power company recently supercharged its WorcesterSmart customer web portal – part of the broader Smart Energy Solutions Program – with the addition of a Rewards platform feature to further compel its customers in the city of Worcester to better take control of their energy use, especially during peak demand hours.

The points customers earn for saving energy, completing energy-saving tips and taking other actions on the WorcesterSmart customer web portal now have tangible value – they can be exchanged for gift cards to local and national merchants, such as Amazon, Dunkin’ Donuts, iTunes and Worcester-local restaurants and shops.

“The Rewards feature is a powerful tool to inspire people to take action and begin forming new habits,” says Yoav Lurie, co-founder and CEO of Simple Energy, which administers the program with its Engagement Platform solution that draws on behavioral science and data to motivate people to save energy. Through Simple Energy’s programs, a variety of incentives – combined with personal motivators – encourage frequent interactions with the platform.

“Extrinsic rewards motivate customers to take initial action and, as they repeat the action, customers begin to feel more intrinsic motivation to continue the behavior,” explains Lurie. “In addition to helping customers save money on their utility bills, gift cards serve as an added carrot that helps them turn actions into habits. We don’t just want people to save energy once, we want them to make a habit out of it.”

In its first few months, the rewards feature already is yielding strong results. The program saw an immediate spike in customer engagement following the announcement that customers could redeem their points for gift cards ranging from $5-25.

Emails introducing rewards saw a 15% increase in open rates and a 24% increase in click rates. Since the launch of Rewards, the average number of new visitors to WorcesterSmart per week quadrupled — and increased by over nine times in the first few weeks after launch — compared to the 2016 average prior to the launch of Rewards.

“Our first year (2015) program results showed a measurable increase in performance (upwards of 10 percent peak demand savings) for those customers who engage with the WorcesterSmart customer web portal,” says Nick Corsetti, senior program manager of New Energy Solutions at National Grid. “By implementing the Rewards platform in February 2016, we are continuing to find new and innovative ways to encourage more customers to visit WorcesterSmart for the first time, and are excited about the potential of the Rewards platform as we head into the summer peak season.”

National Grid hopes to achieve five percent customer demand response savings and five percent energy efficiency savings in 2016.

ABOUT NATIONAL GRID
National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE: NGG) is an electricity and natural gas delivery company that connects nearly 7 million customers to vital energy sources through its networks in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the Northeast. National Grid also operates the systems that deliver gas and electricity across Great Britain. Through its U.S. Connect21 strategy, National Grid is transforming its electricity and natural gas networks to support the 21st-century digital economy with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions. Connect21 is vital to our communities’ long-term economic and environmental health and aligns with regulatory initiatives in New York (REV: Reforming the Energy Vision) and Massachusetts (Grid Modernization). For more information please visit our website, or our Connecting website, follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, friend us on Facebook, find our photos on Instagram

ABOUT SIMPLE ENERGY
Simple Energy’s software as a service (“SaaS”) digital marketing platform uses behavioral science, big data analytics, and digital marketing techniques to change how people save energy and how utilities engage their customers. Located in Boulder, Colorado, Simple Energy is currently partnered with 10 top tier utility customers across North America to aid utilities in meeting energy efficiency regulations and goals. Simple Energy offers a Marketplace Platform that provides customers with instant access to utility rebates and a curated list of efficiency products, and an Engagement Platform, which makes energy efficiency fun, social, and rewarding for utility customers. For more information visit www.SimpleEnergy.com.