Demand Response Programs

Situation

A large utility developed a demand response program. To participate, customers agree to have a switch attached to their air conditioning unit which allows the utility to cycle the unit on and off, generally at 15 to 20-minute intervals, for a few hours on the hottest days of the summer. The fan stays on and cycles the already-cooled air throughout the home when the unit is off.

One of the biggest challenges utilities face with these programs is how to educate consumers about what “demand response” means—and then create value to drive enrollments. The utility turned to longtime partner Allconnect in 2011 for help.

Solution

One of the best times to talk to consumers about home-related decisions is during the move-in process—which is why the existing customer experience through the utility’s move advisor program with Allconnect provided the ideal opportunity for cost-effective customer acquisition for the demand response program.

Through smart customer targeting and segmentation and a pay-for-performance model, Allconnect has driven costs down for the utility and significantly optimized performance and conversion for the program by:

• Geo-targeted serviceability to identify the right regions and households eligible for the program— which can also be leveraged to expand the number of zip codes targeted during critical need periods for the utility, a practice which has, at times, doubled enrollments.
• Educating them in plain English about what demand response actually is.
• Explaining the benefits and savings they’ll gain by adopting the program.

'By the Numbers

Allconnect achieved the utility’s annual goal in just seven months, which exhausted the utility’s inventory and budget for smart thermostats.

58,874

CUSTOMERS

Number of people Allconnect has enrolled in the program

50

PERCENT

Average take rate — WITHOUT paper marketing

9

YEARS

Length of time Allconnect has managed the program

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