We are going through a period of undeniable uncertainty and transition. We watch as communities all over the nation band together to help support those experiencing hardship. We donate to food banks, show continued patronage of local businesses, and find ways to help each other cut costs. For many now homebound, managing bills and reducing costs like electricity have become imperative.
Whether it is Detroit, Columbus or even Vancouver, people are finding new ways to manage electricity through tools like home energy management. Home energy management gives people the tools to see and take control of their energy use in real-time, set a budget and get coached on how to adjust personal energy usage to stay on track. We can see a breakdown of where our energy is coming from and if any energy vampires are contributing to our bill without our knowledge. Though many households have adopted home energy management during the COVID-19 crisis, the need goes beyond the current crisis. And for many across the nation and the world, their hardship won’t end with the relief of COVID-19, nor will their need for tools to better manage and control their electric bill.
Home Energy Management in a Time of Hardship
Hardship comes in many forms. It could be because of a health crisis, financial crisis or natural disaster. It could be local or worldwide. It could be a group of people struggling with low income or unemployment. Whatever the reason and for whoever has to endure it, hardship does not have a timer, and for many a lifeline or a little support can help make ends meet.
Home energy management has become one of those tools. Already, the use of home energy management apps has soared during COVID-19 – with customer engagement tripling since the current situation started. Customers are looking to find ways to reduce and better manage their electric bill during the COVID-19 crisis in the hopes of lightening the financial load and keeping elevated home energy usage in check. As more people every day become homebound, engagement in our utility partners’ energy management solutions has surged – with sessions increasing as much as 90% in a little over a month.
Looking at the app data, there are five top features customers are using to take control:
- Energy Score Card: A rating of how well a household is managing their energy.
- Always-On Reduction: Insight into the devices and appliances that are consuming energy when not being used.
- Energy Breakdown: Different devices and appliances that are using energy.
- Budget Management: Instant budget alerts for when you are trending over your monthly energy budget.
- Advisor: Personalized energy, home, and budget advice.
These features have led to as much as a 300% increase in interaction within the app. But even while customers are flocking to home energy management as a way to combat current hardship, many still aren’t aware tools like this are available. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Joining with our Utility partners, we have been hard at work to change that, helping those who most need it to get access to home energy management.
The Power of Partnership
To ensure every one of our utilities’ customers has the ability to save on energy during this trying time, Powerley has been partnering with utilities to get home energy management to the people who need it most. Taking into consideration the immediacy of the crisis, Powerley has been working with utilities like AEP Ohio and DTE Energy to deliver campaigns that drive awareness around these energy savings tools in each utilities’ home energy management app. Creating new features and guidance for the COVID-19 crisis, Powerley helping utility customers to utilize their home energy management app and save more. Although this crisis has created more uncertainty in our lives, it also gives us the opportunity to work together as a community to help each other. And this won’t end with COVID-19, but instead will extend to supporting all of the people who endure a hardship each and every day.