California’s energy grid is facing a peak energy crisis. The US state has a 4400 MW shortfall forecasted for the summer of 2022.  The California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) is designed to encourage energy providers to work with customers to shift load out of the peak usage hours of 4-9pm. Before we illustrate how Advizzo’s data science and behavioral science based customer engagement platform and solutions can help utilities, let’s take a look at the energy emergency in California and the ELRP.

Introducing the ELRP

In 2021, the CPUC created the ELRP to pilot a new Demand Response approach to help avoid rotating outages during peak summer electricity usage periods from May through to October. The ELRP initially focused on commercial customer participation, but in December 2021 it expanded the program for the summer of 2022 and beyond – and to include participation by residential customers. 

Nearly half of California ‘s energy consumers will be automatically enrolled in the residential program. The CPUC has ordered the IOUs to do special outreach to low-income customers enrolled in the CPUC’s California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE), the Energy Savings Assistance (ESA), Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA), as well as households located in Disadvantaged Communities (as defined Health and Safety Code Section 39711).

Energy use will be tracked at each customer site and the utility will be paid for the grid benefit. The reduction in consumption during an ELRP event is measured relative to how much energy the customer typically used on days preceding the event day during hours similar to the event hours. Residential customers will receive $2 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for reductions in energy use at critical times. 

The program which has an allocated budget of $150m provides opportunities for thermal storage, thermostat control, rescheduling, battery storage, behavior programs and other load-shifting interventions.

How Advizzo can help

Our customer engagement programs are based on data science and behavioral science. Our programs are proven to increase customer engagement, therefore any marketing campaigns highlighting the incentives of the ELRP event will achieve greater success. Using behavioral science techniques we can
nudge customers to change behaviors in order to reduce their energy consumption during peak times.

The findings of a recent assessment of customers engaged in Advizzo’s Customer Engagement Programs, demonstrate that providing utility customers with personalized tips and advice on how to reduce energy and water consumption produces a clear shift in customer engagement with their utilities and motivates behavioral changes that can produce water and energy savings of up to 3% a year.

  • 65% changed their behavior in order to reduce electricity and water consumption
  • 87% of respondents said that as a result of our Home Reports, they had taken steps to reduce their energy and water consumption.
  • 47% had seen a reduction in energy and water consumption in their next bill.

Discover more findings in our annual survey review.

We’re already working with utilities in California. We’re working with Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) on its new HERS program which is focused on decarbonization and Time of the Day awareness. We provide SMUD’s customers with personalized decarbonization tips to encourage customers to change their behavior and reduce their consumption, especially during peak periods.

We are also working with Trukee Donner Public Utility District in California to improve customer engagements and help customers reduce their consumption and decarbonize their homes. Our data science and behavioral science-based customer engagement platform solutions will empower TDPUD customers to make sustainable adjustments to their water and power consumption patterns through personalized data insights and advice.

There’s no time to waste. Kick start your customer engagement program ahead of the summer ELRP now! Get in touch to find out how we can help you reap the rewards of the program and help your customers do their bit towards California’s energy shortfall.