Program Fosters Competition among Neighbors to See Who Can Achieve Highest Energy Savings
Waltham, Mass., Feb. 16, 2010 – Just three months after launching its Home Energy Report pilot program in Mass., National Grid already reports positive customer feedback and significant energy savings. In fact, participating customers have collectively cut their energy use by more than 1 percent so far, and are on track to save as much as or even more than 3 percent annually by implementing energy efficiency changes suggested in the Reports. This month, National Grid will expand its Home Energy Reports program to include an additional 75,000 Mass. electricity customers, bringing total program enrollment to 125,000 natural gas and electricity customers.
National Grid is the first company on the East Coast to offer the Home Energy Report, a new, innovative energy-efficiency tool that provides gas and electricity customers essential information about their energy usage, helps save energy, money and the environment. The Report anonymously compares customers’ energy use with that of their neighbors of similar home size and demographics, employing the theory that people take action when they have similar comparative information about what others are doing. With the Home Energy Report, customers can view the past twelve months of their energy usage and compare and contrast their energy consumption and costs with others in the same neighborhood. There also is a web-based application that allows customers to access energy saving information on-line.
The Report is mailed to customers and features energy usage evaluation and comparison, and personalized energy-saving tips to maximize energy savings. Under the Home Energy Report program, an individual electricity customer is expected to save an average of 260 kilowatt-hours each year simply through behavioral changes and by employing the energy-efficiency tips offered in the Home Energy Report.
“We are absolutely delighted that this program already is such a huge success, and that our participating customers have already started saving money and energy by making simple adjustments that lead to significant savings,” said Tim Stout, vice president Energy Efficiency for National Grid. “With the additional 75,000 customers receiving the Report as part of the expansion, the energy savings of their collective actions is expected to yield another 19,500 megawatt-hours of saved electricity annually – enough to power more than 2,000 homes for one year or the equivalent of removing about 3,000 cars from the road.“
The Home Energy Report also is serving as a valuable resource for customers as they participate in the company’s 3% Less campaign. Under 3% Less, National Grid is encouraging customers to reduce energy consumption by 3 percent annually over the next decade. The home energy reporting program is one of several other energy efficiency programs that National Grid employs to help customers reach their commitment to reducing energy consumption by 3 percent.
Much of the reduction in customers’ energy use with the Home Energy Report comes from implementing small efficiency changes, such as switching to compact fluorescent bulbs or turning down home heat a degree or two.
“I love the Home Energy Report,” said Home Energy Report recipient and Weymouth resident, Theresa Sullivan. “They were a real wake up call for us when our first one showed our usage was 60 percent higher than our neighbors. We felt very proud to be in the 40 percent range last time, and we're striving for better.”
In light of the success of the Reports so far, National Grid is looking again to expand the program later this year to include additional gas and electric customers throughout Mass.
National Grid is working with vendor OPOWER, formerly Positive Energy, to design, prepare and deliver the Home Energy Report. OPOWER is an energy-efficiency software company that works with utilities to meet their efficiency goals through effective customer engagement. Using behavioral science and cutting-edge data analytics, the OPOWER platform enables utilities to connect with their customers in a highly targeted fashion, motivating reductions in energy use and increased program participation.
Home Energy Report participants also can access an online supplement to the Report by visiting the Energy Insider Web site at www.nationalgridus.com/energyreports. On the Web site, customers can view their energy usage by month, take advantage of rebates and other incentives, get practical recommendations for their household and view the most popular tips visitors to the site have provided about measures they have already instituted or intend to institute in the future.
National Grid is an international energy delivery company. In the U.S., National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island, and manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). It is the largest distributor of natural gas in the northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Rhode Island. National Grid also owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation that provides power to over one million LIPA customers.