“If you offer more, more will come.”
At CPS Energy, we took this approach as we looked for ways to provide customers with incentives for saving energy during peak demand season. Paying our customers to use less of our product? Who would think of such a thing? But, it’s what we do every day.
Through My Thermostat Rewards, we give customers up to $85 when they sign up for programs like “Rush Hour Rewards” or “Seasonal Savings.” Customers also receive a $30 incentive after each summer for staying with the program.
“It has been a successful transition for us,” said Rick Luna, CPS Energy’s senior manager of product development, who talked about our success story at the recent Smart Energy Summit in Austin. Joined by other industry leaders, Luna detailed our increased focus on customer choice. We offer customers a free Smart Thermostat or Home Manager. But if they prefer another system, we encourage them to buy their own qualifying smart thermostat to manage their energy use. Then, offer them a bill credit to cover part of the cost.
“We learned a lot from the revolution in intelligent thermostat offerings,” Luna said. “Customers love their devices such as the Nest thermostat.”
My Thermostat Rewards is just one of a variety of programs designed to reduce 771 megawatts of energy consumption as part of our Save for Tomorrow Energy Plan (STEP). Reaching this goal delays building another power plant or buying additional megawatts on the open market to keep up with demand. Either would be a costly option to both us and our customers.
My Thermostat Rewards is a result of us forming partnerships with multiple smart thermostat providers. Customers wanted more choices and we wanted to provide them. Today, customers can select from 16 different smart thermostat choices.
Roughly 125,000 of our 789,000 electric customers participate in the thermostat rewards program. Five thousand chose to purchase their own device and we offered an incentive.
“We have gotten over this thing where we have to have total control of the customer experience,” Luna said. “We have learned it is OK to form partnerships that are beneficial to both of us.”
As the market continues to evolve, we want to forge partnerships that will help us get to the next level of energy conservation. Ultimately, this not only helps us, it provides choice and benefits our community from increased energy conservation.
Customers interested in enrolling in My Thermostat Rewards and other energy efficiency programs can find more details here.