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Smart Meters Not Enough to Achieve Energy Efficiency Goals, Says eMeter

eMeter Corporation, the global leader in Smart Grid management software, today unveiled Energy Engage™, an online, consumer engagement solution that encourages conservation by enabling users to understand the relationship between energy consumption, cost and carbon output. Pilot participants with PowerCentsDC will be the first to actively manage their home energy consumption with Energy Engage. PowerCentsDC is a public–private partnership program backed by Pepco and consumer and regulatory bodies in Washington D.C. that is testing how much electricity consumers can save using key Smart Grid technologies.

Utilities have been investing in smart metering technology to lower operating costs, offer faster customer service and provide consumers with billing options and pricing that corresponds to peak demand. However, there has been little progress in engaging end users to realize the benefits of this technology. Energy Engage encourages behavioral change among customers by helping them understand how their energy consumption levels impacts not only their wallets, but also the environment.

Energy Engage uniquely empowers utility companies to help consumers manage their home energy usage with, for the first time, accurate daily billing information, real-time event driven alerts to budget variations and access to local community guidance and advice.

“To fully realize the benefits of Smart Grid technologies, utilities must engage their customers more effectively for improved energy efficiency and conservation. The critical next steps are to provide better information to consumers about their usage, make them aware of opportunities for savings and get them motivated to make positive changes,” said Sam Klepper, Senior Vice President and General Manager of eMeter’s Consumer Energy Group. “With Energy Engage, consumers and utilities are able to benefit from a symbiotic relationship, changing passive energy users into active participants of energy conservation and management.”

Leveraging Energy Engage, PowerCentsDC is investigating new pricing models and behavioral changes that can be maximized through advanced consumer engagement solutions. All participants will be able to see, for the first time, daily usage and cost updates and have summaries sent automatically by text or email, along with optional budget alerts when their usage or cost exceeds pre-set thresholds.

“We chose eMeter's Energy Engage over other options because we believe it creates a compelling, consumer-oriented experience that pushes the envelope in terms of empowering our customers to make positive changes. We expect improved conservation, customer energy efficiency and greater peak demand reductions,” said Rick Morgan, Commissioner of the District of Columbia Public Service Commission and Chair of the Smart Meter Pilot Program, Inc.

Benefit to Utilities

Consumer engagement is critically important for utilities to reap the full benefits of the Smart Grid. With an integrated engagement solution that leverages data traditionally used for billing, utilities are better able to offer consumers an easy to use tool that encourages closer collaboration on reducing peak demand and increasing energy conservation. Energy Engage bridges utilities with customers to monitor energy consumption levels with compelling tools that motivate change and increase energy efficiency.

While first generation web portals typically have provided online bill access and simple tips, Energy Engage gives utilities an online solution for their customers to monitor energy consumption levels together with a variety of tools to enable long term behavior change, including text and email alerts, trusted advice from industry experts, and community building including local advice and views of how their energy consumption compares to others in their neighborhood.

Benefit to Consumers

Energy Engage will be available to consumers through their utility company as a free, online resource that provides unprecedented transparency into their home energy consumption. Providing detailed yet digestible information on energy consumption levels, Energy Engage illustrates the relationship between usage, cost and environmental impact. Consumers will benefit from more insight and control over their energy use, including notifications of power outages, tools to budget energy bills, and industry and community tips on lowering costs.

The development of a consumer engagement solution is a natural progression for eMeter, the global leader in Smart Grid data management. Leveraging the company’s operational understanding of utility infrastructure, Energy Engage ensures the most accurate and meaningful consumer communication of usage, cost and environmental impact. By integrating sophisticated Web 2.0 user interface and behavioral activation techniques, Energy Engage entices consumer involvement and motivates them to make behavioral changes to lower energy consumption and costs.

About eMeter:

With over 24 million meters under contract, eMeter enables electric, gas and water utilities to realize the full benefits of their AMI and Smart Grid initiatives, through the eMeter Smart Grid Management software suite. eMeter's experienced professional services team can help ensure project success, as well as provide strategic consulting services for meter data management, advanced metering and demand response.

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