Spread the TOU Love

Posted by Energy Wire on March 24, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Time-of-use technologies, dynamic pricing schemes and fluctuating rates. They’re important for creating a conservation culture. The more we know and understand about rates and load demands, the more we can begin to conserve and modify our power use patterns.
Understanding this idea is pretty simple. But getting customers to accept and embrace time-of-use (TOU) schemes is another matter. Greentech Media recently outlined a few requirements of a well-designed TOU plan. Besides accurate billing and a responsive call center, consider these must-do’s:

  • Simplify the message. Whether it’s a simplified monthly bill or a clean, well-designed website, make sure you’re speaking to consumers in plain English. That means eliminating the techno-speak.
  • Make it voluntary.“People don’t like to be forced into doing anything,” says Greentech’s Katharine Tweed. “TOU Programs can be much more effective if they’re optional, and customers can find out for themselves that they can actually save money with these types of rate structures.”
  • Allow for innovation. Utilities should welcome what entrepreneurial companies can bring to the table, like fresh new tools and capabilities. Those tools might not be what utilities expect them to be. Maybe the next thing won’t be a geeky in-home display with a flood of information. It might be a better website or a better smartphone app.

Photo credit: StellaCotton

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