Customer engagement and satisfaction is vital for the long-term success of a utility, campus, or transit system. Projects that focus on an end user’s experience can significantly increase revenue and decrease the cost to serve. Today, the combination of energy transformation and technological innovation seen in distributed energy resources, smart grids, microgrids and energy storage systems has led to increased customer expectations from their electricity providers.
Utilities are quickly transitioning to a completely digitally-driven user experience.
Reliable, interoperable technologies now provide opportunities to share daily energy usage data, Time-of-Use and real-time pricing schemes for end users to modify and adapt their energy behavior and become active participants in the energy system.
Cover of Deloitte Insights report on The Utility Customer of the Future; Credit: Deloitte
Empowered, informed consumers naturally seek ways to improve their energy efficiency and save money, which reduces overall energy demand and helps power companies avoid building additional energy infrastructure, thereby avoiding some of the environmental effects of the power system and energy consumption. With the rise of customer-focused data monitoring platforms, end users finally have the ability to tackle energy consumption in a thoughtful, powerful way.
The PEER rating system’s fourth credit category, Grid Services (GS), highlights the need to assess these customer contributions, which include energy conservation efforts, the adoption of smart technology for improved efficiency, and their impact on load coordination and generation services. PEER provides projects with strategies on how to:
- Assess customers attitude on service quality,
- Achieve permanent reductions in energy demand,
- Promote demand response strategies, and
- Build public confidence in grid modernization.
The Grid Services Credit Category in Action: Tata Power DDL
Tata Power Delhi Distribution Ltd. (Tata Power - DDL), the first PEER Gold certified utility project in Asia, provides reliable power supply to several essential services and 7 million users in the North and Northwest parts of Delhi, India. Tata Power – DDL is committed to providing responsive customer service and universal, continual and reliable power supply to all users through the support of their PEER certification.
Customer surveys are a key component in assessing user satisfaction. Through the strategies provided by PEER, including the Customer and Load Survey credit, Tata Power - DDL confirmed that their customer satisfaction index received a 4.5/5.
PEER also emphasizes energy conservation and load management through the Demand-Side Management credit. Tata Power – DDL has implemented various energy conservation programs to work toward this goal, including:
- UJALA (Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All) scheme for distribution of Energy Efficient LED Lighting and BEE Five Star Ceiling Fan, and
- Rebate based Air-conditioner (AC) Replacement Scheme – a discount of 50 percent on BEE 5-star rated ACs or Inverter ACs in exchange of non-star ACs,
for their customers. Customers are also offered Time-of-Use pricing schemes, which help reduce electricity costs through load shifting or consuming power through local electricity generation sources, while the utility relieves strain on the grid.
Through guidance from PEER’s Access to Energy Usage Data credit, Tata Power – DDL provides its customers with information about their electricity consumption through the online platform and mobile application. Armed with this knowledge, improved building transparency and education naturally move users toward conservation efforts.
Tata Power – DDL has achieved significant benefits through energy conservation and demand-side management measures, as shown in the image below.
The PEER rating system emphasizes that transparency with end users improves equity and engagement, protects end user rights and interests, and ensures that they receive fair value for their participation in grid services. Tata Power – DDL supports that same principle through their Interconnection and Net Metering Policies, which facilitate the integration of customers’ distributed generation with the grid and its value.
Through its partnership with PEER, Tata Power – DDL has assessed their work to date, identified areas for improvement and set a regional standard for customer engagement among cities and utility projects. Through effective strategies and conservation measures, Tata Power – DDL has continued to strengthen its triple bottom line.
This is the fifth article on the series that introduces PEER’s credit category – Grid Services. Don’t miss out on the next article that concludes this “Triple-Bottom-Line Benefits through PEER Certification” article series. Stay tuned!