Baltimore, Maryland (USA) is a hive of economic, cultural, and social activity. The state of Maryland itself ranks as the fifth densest state in the union; 618 people jostle for every square mile. As the region continues to develop and grow, mounting pressure is placed on Maryland’s utilities.
This ongoing expansion has created a unique environment for customer engagement innovation from the state’s largest gas and electric utility, Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE).
A subsidiary of Exelon Corporation, BGE has implemented a variety of interactive online applications to promote customer engagement. Since 2012, BGE has been trialling the use of behavioural programmes to help customers improve their energy management. BGE first piloted Oracle Utilities’ Opower Home Energy Reports (HERs) in December of that year, and HERs were deployed to 100,000 residential households as part of its Smart Energy Manager program (SEM). Seeing the success of the program, along with a low unenrolment rate and low costs, BGE moved to auto-enrol all eligible customers in the HER program. By the end of 2015, the majority of BGE’s 1.1 million residential customer base were being treated with HERs.
In 2016, regulatory changes required the company to achieve new aggressive energy savings goals. Given that most customers were already saving energy with the HER program and expansion of the HER program was not an option, how would BGE reach these new savings goals? BGE conceived a new plan to further educate and engage customers with High Usage Alerts (HUAs). These proactive alerts inform customers when they’re trending towards a high bill, giving them time to reduce their consumption for the remainder of the month to save costs before their monthly bill is calculated.