New Oracle tool will help utilities explain realistic energy savings to rooftop solar customers
Oracle Utilities Opower DER Customer Engagement is one of four new products and more than 100 new features in the Opower platform, the industry’s leading suite of customer engagement and energy efficiency cloud services.
According to Wood Mackenzie, solar is the second fastest growing resource after natural gas in the U.S., and residential solar has grown by 500+MW every quarter over the last four years. However, many early adopters have been dismayed with their expectation of utility bill savings versus the reality. This is resulting in an influx of calls to their utility provider, which have proven to be up to $8 more expensive and considerably longer than non-solar related calls.
Based on extensive research into the solar customer journey, Opower DER Customer Engagement addresses these challenges by providing utility customers with a personalized set of insights and recommendations relating to their overall energy generation, usage and resulting bill.
“Engaging with our customers and providing them clear, consistent information about their energy consumption and production is critical,” said Feltrin Davis, manager of business Intelligence and data analytics smart energy services for Exelon. “With Oracle, we have been able to regularly deploy new web tools for our solar/net energy meter customers and are updating them frequently to ensure we are providing the best experience possible.”
With Opower, Utilities can now send new solar customers onboarding communications explaining what to expect and how solar billing works. And new or existing customers can leverage online tools and insights to understand their net energy consumption. In addition, solar customers will also have a simple overview of their bills and a comparison of how their energy costs have changed since adopting solar. As a result, customers are happier and utilities reduce expensive call center volume.
“As distributed energy resources continue to rise, consumers are becoming more active and in control of their energy footprint — both as users and producers,” said Dan Byrnes, SVP of product development, Oracle Utilities. “They are looking to their utility to help guide them throughout this journey and provide the clear, accessible insights they need to make more informed decisions. This innovation is a critical step forward in enabling the kind of deeper relationship between utilities and their customers which is essential as the industry moves toward a more customer-centric grid model.”
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