energy efficiency programmes

US utility Consumers Energy has been recognised for its energy efficiency programmes by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

The utility has been named in ACEEE's fourth National Review of Exemplary Energy Efficiency Programmes.

Consumers Energy has secured the recognition owing to the success of its Small Business and Agriculture Energy Efficiency Programmes.

The utility partnered with Franklin Energy and has managed to triple consumer participation and satisfaction in a hard-to-reach market.

The Small Business Energy Efficiency programme targeted small businesses and non profit organisations. Between 2015 and 2017, the programme increased the number of participants from 7,179 to 20,018.

In addition to the recognition, the programme and was rated highly in customer satisfaction — 9.1 out of 10 — by third party evaluator EMI Consulting.

Business customers receive incentives for installing smart thermostats, LED lighting, refrigeration, water heaters and more.

Consumers Energy has helped the agriculture sector to complete 969 projects which have resulted in $3.7 million in energy savings since 2011. As part of the Agriculture Energy Efficiency Programme and in partnership with Michigan State University, the utility has provided $4.7 million in incentives.

Paul Schueller, CEO of Franklin Energy, said: “Successful utility programmes are built by closing communication gaps and establishing rapport with customers through highly personalized engagement.

“The programmes we’ve created with DNV-GL and implemented with Consumers Energy ensure that no energy user is overlooked, setting a new standard for customer communications and saving millions of dollars in the process...”

The energy efficiency programmes are part of efforts by Consumers Energy to improve services to its 6.7 million customers.