On July 14, 2015, representatives from Direct Energy introduce their new idea of the “Golden Era”. According to Direct Energy, not only is technology enhancing our experiences, but customers are engaging with these advances. In order to engage with the new age of customers, energy providers must integrate these technology advances into their system. Direct Energy provided a useful system managing their website so that the “Golden Era” can easily engage with their product. Direct Energy has over 5 million customers across the US and Canada. Direct Energy’s goal is “Making a positive difference in people’s lives”. Here is how Direct Energy is creating a better customer experience:
o Customers do not understand the full utility bill, so they’re trying to keep it simple (dollars and cents rather than kWh).
o On their website, customers are able to see their energy consumption in somewhat real time. Customers can analyze the day, week, and month easily through the dashboard.
o On the dashboard, customers can see their current usage as a 7 day outlook. Not only that, but customers can compare the current bill to their previous bill(s).
o Customers can also disaggregate their home’s usage down to the individual appliance level. Understanding which areas of your home are consuming the most energy is important in order to know where to start saving.
o Customers customize a profile based on their house and appliance. This gives Direct Energy more information about the consumer, which allows them to more accurately disaggregate the home-level data.
While we applaud Direct Energy for taking the first step, we must stress that this just the first step toward a more engaging customer experience. Data is a wonderful thing, but one insight that Direct Energy hasn’t stated is that customers don’t want homework – they want the answers. Collecting and presenting data is the first step, but it’s the energy provider’s responsibility to analyze the data and use it to help their customers save.