FirstFuel Software, the global leader in business customer engagement for the energy industry, announced a new capability designed to help utilities understand and communicate to their business customers how strategic electrification, combined with distributed energy resources (DERs) and energy efficiency, can drive significant energy savings and other benefits. FirstFuel has already signed agreements with two leading North American utilities to help them offer more low-carbon energy options to their business customers and achieve specific growth objectives for these offerings. FirstFuel plans to expand its functionality as more utilities look to harness the benefits of electrification and DERs in 2018.
Electrification is the act of switching out fossil fuel-powered equipment, such as an oil furnace or a propane forklift, for electric alternatives. According to the Electric Power Research Institute(EPRI), electrification could transform the energy sector, increasing electric load by 52 percent while reducing economy-wide carbon emissions by 67 percent. To capitalize on the tremendous business opportunity that electrification presents – while meeting mounting customer interest in more sustainable energy solutions – utilities are increasingly exploring ways to engage customers with electrification options.
FirstFuel’s new electrification capabilities include tools that give business customers and their account managers a way to evaluate the benefits of electrification opportunities alongside energy efficiency measures and DERs. By enabling utilities to present these options to customers, along with analysis of their value, FirstFuel helps accelerate customers’ decision-making, and improves the outcomes from utilities’ customer engagement.
FirstFuel’s analysis of its expansive business customer database confirms what other potential studies are showing: that electrification opportunities are significant. For example, in some business segments, more than 55 percent of customers could benefit by converting to an energy-saving heat pump, creating an annual utility load growth opportunity of nearly 10% for each customer.
“Electrification has the potential to transform the energy industry,” said Austin Whitman, VP of energy markets at FirstFuel. “For utility business customers, it can improve equipment efficiencies and yield cost savings of up to 30 percent. Done right, it can also drive cost savings in the grid by altering when, how and where people use electricity. Electrification can pay dividends through years of future carbon reductions. We are seeing a sea change as utilities embrace electrification programs to bring benefits to their customers and the broader world.”
FirstFuel’s insights into customer needs, propensity to act and impact on the grid help utilities engage customers and convert opportunities more effectively. FirstFuel’s platform has helped double new project conversion rates and reduced sales cycles by more than 50 percent.
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