04 Apr 2018
Understanding the necessity of a streamlined online shopping experience for energy efficiency (EE) and rebate customers, demand-side management (DSM) software energyOrbit has launched the energyOrbit Marketplace portal for selecting and applying for products and incentives in one centralized platform. The energyOrbit Marketplace which is housed and powered on the Salesforce platform combines and simplifies the application process for all EE/DSM offers from utilities and program administrators into one single platform, making it accessible to any customer and service providers in any state. This removes a variety of barriers to customer participation, including taking the application process from paper to an online application portal and database backend, aiming to increase in EE/DSM program participation and program administrator productivity, namely, achieve energy savings goals at a lower cost per unit of energy saved.
"Our marketplace product is unique in the C&I space for those tasked with the often arduous job of applying for energy efficiency rebates and incentives," said Udi Merhav, CEO of energyOrbit. "By giving the public a shopping-like experience, DSM programs can maximize customer applications, thereby, helping utilities to fully utilize DSM budgets before the end of a program cycle and helping utilities and states as a whole to reach energy efficiency targets faster with less overhead. The energyOrbit Marketplace was created to combat the issue of both 'form fatigue' and the sporadic and disjointed nature of current application programs."
Additionally, the energyOrbit Marketplace enhances customer engagement opportunities through enhanced collaboration in the EE eco-system. Current methods often fail to offer familiar e-commerce interfaces where customers can get conveniently participate in the EE economy and reap benefits. Presently, the burden is on customers to find out which programs they are eligible for resulting in a sluggish and inefficient process.
"Despite more states pushing for more energy efficiency agendas, inadequate participation levels leave allocated budgets unused, and customers continuing to use energy inefficiently. Coupled with paper-based applications and manually entered spreadsheets to track an EE/DSM program's progress, and utilities are left with execution that is both costly and time consuming for everyone involved," continued Merhav. "What customers want is the familiar 'Amazon-style" shopping cart experience they get everywhere else on the web. They are accustomed to these intuitive and helpful interfaces in a variety of other industries, and the utility industry owes it to their customers to provide that same level of customer experience in the EE/DSM space. We are pleased to offer this solution which offers a brand new layer of visibility and functionality to the DSM space that's never been seen before."
Through the energyOrbit marketplace, any customer can search for any eligible programs and energy efficiency products, whether their project is new construction or a retrofit. They can also search for two fuel types at once, such as electricity and gas, without starting a new search or having to double enter their information. Customers also have the option to shop and view what is in their shopping cart without having to log in; this gives them the option to see what incentive programs they would like to apply for before they decide to register. Other key features include user-friendly search and browse functionality, listing all measures in a solitary list, a real-time tracker that showcases the number of measures and incentives collected and robust analytical features for convenient data mining.
"It only makes sense that utilities come together to enhance customer engagement through collaborative digital solutions in manners customers are already accustomed to," continued Merhav. "Comprehensive online shopping portals for EE/DSM programs is an excellent place to start, where significant amounts of time can be saved for all parties involved. It behooves utilities to look at each other as partners instead of competitors and adopted collaborative marketplaces for their customers and service providers in the pursuit of operations efficiencies toward achieving a cleaner economy. Look no further to New England to see that collaboration between utilities and program administrators to better serve their customers is already taking place."
energyOrbit | www.energyorbit.com