Four Key Benefits to Streamlining Energy Audits
Jun 1, 2014
How are you currently managing your energy audits and data collection in the field for your demand side management (DSM) and energy efficiency programs? Traditionally, energy audits are expensive, manual, and labor intensive with a lack of flexibility. It is not unusual for an energy auditor or engineer to manually complete an audit form and record crucial premise data by hand. This process is inefficient and makes it difficult to increase trade ally and customer participation in utility DSM and energy efficiency programs.
Through the adoption of mobile assessment software-driven approaches in the field, utilities can achieve the following key benefits:
- Increase program participation—By automating and enhancing the energy audit process, data collection becomes streamlined and tied to utility rebates and programs. This is essential to boosting program participation as it makes it easier for trade allies and customers to participate in utility DSM/EE programs. Trade allies are able to present both the actual energy usage report and applicable rebates/program information to the customer in real-time as opposed to the typical turnaround time for a manual energy audit report.
- Empower trade allies—Enabling your trade allies to more effectively sell energy efficiency plays a significant role in the success of DSM/EE programs. Eliminating manual process makes it easier for trade allies to perform energy audits and helps to mobilize more of your trade ally network while increasing overall program awareness and participation.
- Reduce cost, help meet energy savings goals and improve customer satisfaction—Moving away from manually conducting energy audits helps to reduce unnecessary time and expense as the energy audit is completed with greater effectiveness and accuracy. Since data is collected and processed digitally with reports being provided on the spot, customers no longer have to wait for the output information, a trade ally to submit a paper rebate form, have a program manager review, etc.
- Data collection—Leveraging purpose-built software to complete energy audits allows utilities to collect and house crucial premise data in a single location, which can then be segmented and used to target customers for specific program marketing and outreach to increase awareness and participation in future DSM/EE programs.
A large Midwest utility has successfully adopted this approach by leveraging a suite of targeted outreach and trade ally management best practices combined with mobile assessment capabilities. As a result, they have exceeded their small business goals by nearly 100% with 22GWh of electric savings, 20-29% conversion to assessment and 91-93% conversion from assessment to signed projects.
The challenge around streamlining energy audits is a common one for utilities – now may be the time to consider changes to your approach in order to increase program participation while reducing cost and improving customer satisfaction.