The Xcel Energy Store, powered by Simple Energy, is a utility-branded online storefront available to approximately 2.4 million Xcel Energy customers in Colorado and Minnesota. The e-commerce platform enables instant rebates on energy-efficient devices for customers upon checkout. During the Store’s pilot stage (2015-16), the utility’s focus was solely on wi-fi thermostat sales—and subsequently enrolling the devices in a demand response program.
How It Worked
The Xcel Energy Store from Simple Energy proved to be a cost-effective and efficient channel that has exceeded utility targets, both for purchases and demand response program enrollments. As a result, the Xcel Energy Store is being extended and expanded.
Since launching in the Spring of 2015 Xcel Energy customers purchased approximately 8,100 wi-fi thermostats despite limited direct consumer marketing. For eligible customers, the store enables customers to receive an instant rebate on smart thermostat purchases at checkout. In addition, the Xcel Energy Store assisted in encouraging enrollment of these devices in the utility’s demand response program, “Saver’s Stat.”
A thoughtful, integrated customer journey and purchase process:
- A utility-branded storefront
- Leading energy-saving products with trusted brands
- Responsive design to meet the customer on their preferred access device/screen
- Robust marketing capabilities that utilize customer data to deliver targeted, personalized messaging
- A curated selection of products to minimize “analysis paralysis”
- The ability to compare products and incentives
- The ability to view product ratings and reviews
- Instant online rebates with validated eligibility at the point of purchase
- A simple direct purchase to complete the transaction
- Direct fulfillment of the smart thermostats
- Exceptional customer support via online chat, phone or email
This dynamic marketplace platform rapidly exceeded Xcel Energy’s initial goals for sales volumes and target achievement dates—and it did so again when both goals were increased mid-program. Overall, the Xcel Energy Store enabled thousands of customers to proactively take control of their energy usage at a great value.
- Over 8,100 wi-fi thermostats sold via the online storefront (with limited marketing), representing approximately 75% of overall program sales targets from all channels (i.e. retail, trade allies, online e-commerce)
- Significant contributor to enrolling approximately 2,000 (100% or more of the utility’s goal in both Colorado and Minnesota) of these devices in Xcel Energy’s demand response program in an expedient manner ahead of summer peak demand season
- > 90% customer satisfaction rates with online storefront experience
- Seamless transfer of customer-specific sales data back to Xcel Energy
Based on the store’s success, Xcel Energy extended its partnership with Simple Energy. In 2017 the store will expand to feature multiple product categories and underlying products.