As energy providers around the world strive to achieve aggressive carbon reduction goals, it is often new distributed energy resource (DER) technologies like solar energy, battery storage and electric vehicles that dominate the conversation. And while renewable energy and beneficial electrification are an essential part of the solution, smarter energy usage in the form of energy efficiency, demand response and other demand side management (DSM) programs are just as integral to achieving decarbonization.
In fact, while adding more clean energy to the grid and electrifying all vehicles will take decades, next generation DSM can make substantial progress today. Utilities – and society – need the full range of DSM programs to achieve meaningful net zero progress now while we continue to transition our energy supply, electrify transportation, and update essential infrastructure.
Energy efficiency programs are by far the largest DSM effort, and the energy savings accrued from improvements in energy efficiency is the simplest and least expensive path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Engaging consumers through next-generation energy efficiency programs delivers immediate carbon impact with lower start-up thresholds.
Utilities worldwide turn to Bidgely to facilitate their DSM program evolutions, upgrading existing programs to deliver more timely, personalized, and relevant energy experiences to every customer, which in turn improve energy efficiency savings realization rates, boost customer satisfaction and increase program/service uptake.
In fact, in 2023, Bidgely’s global customer base of electric utilities and energy retailers surpassed one terawatt-hour (TWh) of energy savings through Bidgely’s UtilityAI energy efficiency programs, which has offset nearly 709,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions. Those gains continue to accelerate. By 2028, Bidgely and our utility partners will have more than doubled energy efficiency returns, achieving an anticipated 2.6 TWh of savings.
Together, we’re achieving emission offsets that would require thousands of solar panels, hundreds of wind turbines, millions of dollars and many years of project development by instead enabling smarter usage and deployment of the grid today. And it’s all made possible through the power of data.
“For years we have expected the energy transition to be built largely with increased renewable energy production. The reality is our greatest weapon rests with smarter energy,” said Jen Szaro, President and CEO, AESP (Association of Energy Services Professionals). “Bidgely’s milestone is proof that having detailed analysis of real-time usage directly leads to smarter consumption and deployment, creating a cleaner environment for all.”
The Advanced Data Science Driving Efficiency Amplification
Every customer has their own unique DSM value. Understanding how to optimize each customer’s maximum savings potential is the key to achieving targets. Bidgely’s Analytics Workbench tool provides utilities with an in-depth understanding of every household’s unique load fingerprint -– i.e. what appliances are in use, the size and time of their consumption and/or demand, and how customers should be best targeted and incentivized to take savings actions.
Applying AI-powered analytics to meter data empowers utilities to target each customer with programs best suited to achieve behavior change to achieve the energy savings that the grid needs. Using these insights, utilities can meet customers where they are by providing personalized messaging based on that customer’s needs — treating customers as individuals, with individual energy savings and load shift opportunities.
For example, Analytics Workbench reveals whether a customer has an inefficient appliance, such as an AC unit that should be repaired or replaced, or an appliance that is healthy but being used inefficiently, and a smart thermostat could assist. Similarly, Analytics Workbench pinpoints pool pump usage, including both time of use and speed of the pump, enabling utilities to target specific customers with programs to replace single speed units with more efficient variable speed models, and/or run the pump in off-peak hours.
Maximizing efficiency savings also requires extending efficiency programs to all customers – not only those in the highest consuming homes. Using Bidgely’s patented disaggregation technology, Analytics Workbench identifies variables beyond high consumption to create superior treatment groups with the highest propensity to save. Maximum savings is determined by a combination of consumption, appliance usage, energy lifestyle, and behaviors — a customer profile that Bidgely’s advanced data science is better able to define.
The difference between legacy DSM approaches and Bidgely’s AI-informed practical, simple and personally relevant efficiency recommendation approach is significant, with an average 3% energy savings per household. With millions of households, this adds up.
Insights informed by granular household energy use data can empower utilities to make essential and immediate progress toward their ambitious energy efficiency goals.
As Krystal Maxwell, Research Director, Guidehouse asserts, “Machine learning, AI, and smart meter data enable highly targeted, strategic implementation of energy efficiency programs. This approach provides distributed energy resources (DER) integration, grid optimization, and increased energy efficiency to provide relief to a utility’s energy grid, while simultaneously providing bill savings to utility customers.”
Bidgely’s UtilityAI is EmPOWERing Collective Action
The proof of the power that lies in Bidgely’s advanced data science, is in the results industry leaders are seeing today.
Rocky Mountain Power, a Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company, achieved over 228 GWh energy savings at a cost savings of 25 percent compared to traditional energy efficiency programs by partnering with Bidgely.
Vice President, Customer Experience & Innovation for Rocky Mountain Power William Comeau commented, “The transition to a sustainable future is a partnership with our customers, and it’s data that helps us target offerings specifically to them from an energy efficiency standpoint. Having that partnership with our customers helps them reduce their load during peak times, helps us keep costs low overall for our customers, and long term, bring on more sustainable solutions.”
Adam Grant, Director of Electrification & Energy Services for NV Energy, another Bidgely partner that yielded 13 GWh energy savings in the first year and 40 GWh in its first three years of its energy efficiency program, reflected, “We work extremely hard to be partners with our customers; to teach them ways to use and ways to save energy. Because of the data and targeted aspect of what we’re doing, this is not blanket marketing: we take what we know about precisely where and why customers were inefficient and help them become more efficient.”
Boost Your Own DSM Gains
If you’re interested in maximizing the contribution your DSM programs make toward achieving your energy efficiency and decarbonization goals, learn more about how Analytics Workbench and Bidgely’s intelligent, next-generation energy efficiency programs can deliver measurable results today while also helping you build the grid of the future.