The Pot of Data Gold at the End of the Energy Assessment Rainbow
Mar 16, 2015
Streamlining how utilities conduct energy assessments is valuable in itself, but the often overlooked yet extremely valuable piece of an energy assessment is actually the data collected during the audit. This is the pot of gold for the utility as it helps demystify their customer base and provides deep visibility into premise data the utility may not have access to otherwise.
To fully benefit from and leverage data collected during these assessments, we need to ask the following key questions:
- What happens with the data collected during an energy assessment?
- Where and how is this data stored?
- What does the utility do with this data?
- How is the data secured?
Leveraging a mobile software application approach, data is collected throughout the audit process. The data is synced and saved on a backend system and available to utility programs and systems that hold other customer information. At the end of the audit, an energy savings report is instantly generated for the customer. This way, the customer knows exactly which programs they are eligible to participate in based on their energy audit and most importantly—how to take action.
Upon completion of the audit, the customer and premise data are stored in a central repository. This is beneficial to the utility on several levels. The utility can segment and mine this data for future program planning purposes. Also, based on the data, the utility can develop targeted marketing efforts to drive further program participation and help meet energy savings goals.
But how secure is that pot of data gold?
The first step taken to ensure data security is to make sure all this data resides in a single system that is secure and protected. As information is collected throughout the audit, information is sent from the application to a back office DSM management system using industry standard encryption protocols. In addition, no assessment information (including customer data) is stored on the mobile device itself.
While it is a beautiful thing to streamline energy audits and move away from the painfully manual process that most utilities currently endure—there is also a wealth of data generated and readily available as a result of the energy auditing process. Adopting an automated, mobile energy auditing application allows the utility access to this pot of data gold at the end of the energy assessment rainbow.