Energy Vue – Data analytics solutions for the gas utility industry

For gas utilities, the mandate to reduce energy usage has become more challenging with each new program year. Early energy efficiency marketing programs were able to send broad-based messages to large audiences. Those mass marketing programs, while expensive, captured the low-hanging fruit — homeowners that were interested in and supportive of energy efficiency initiatives.

Now, finding those opportunities has become more difficult. That’s why so many utilities have chosen to bring outside Big Data into the mix. Electric utilities have long relied on additional consumer data in hopes of moving demand at peak times of the day. Gas utilities can also benefit from added data even though their primary internal data is limited to customer names & addresses and therm usage. These two data points alone are not enough to effectively target customers with appropriate messages on their energy efficiency potential. What’s needed is a more in-depth, insightful look at gas utility customer data – once it is combined with new data sources that tell a better story.

For example, let’s look at the low-income segment. Two households, both alike in income may vary dramatically in consumer behavior, finances or the number of individuals living in the home.  Many assume that households belonging to a lower income segment wouldn’t be interested in lowering their natural gas usage rate since they often can’t afford to replace windows, add insulation or upgrade furnaces or other appliances.

But digging deeper into additional customer demographic data will show that not all low-income households are the same. While annual incomes may be similar, some homeowners may have retired and paid off their mortgages leaving them with more disposable income and a desire to improve the resale value of their home or reduce their energy bills.

When adding in multiple external data points, the search for unique customer segments becomes much easier with the use of the affordable new data visualization tools. You can see in the image below how the story of low-income households becomes more complex, yet more accessible through data visualization. It would be a mistake to use a “one size fits all” approach when you can easily isolate much smaller segments that can be targeted with custom offers thereby decreasing costs and increasing results.

At the Energy Solutions Center (ESC) TMAF conference February 21-23 in Ft. Worth, TX, Market Vue will demonstrate the powerful insights in the Energy Vue program and dashboards that are available for natural gas utilities. The Energy Vue modules focus on a wide range of categories including Low-Income, Market Expansion, Therm Savings, Consumer Behavior Change (Migration), C&I, and Multi-Family with many more to come.

To learn more about Energy Vue or the use of data to provide customer insights, contact David Stirling at Market Vue Partners.