Case Study: Home Energy Improvement Plan

Leverage the Ecova-Aclara Alliance to Develop a Long-Term Energy Savings Plan for Your Customers

Identifying cost effective ways to obtain deeper energy savings in the residential market has been a consistent question for utility programs. Ecova’s Home Energy Improvement Plan is designed to use data, customer preferences, and marketing best practices to develop a comprehensive, long-term dialogue with consumers that will increase their satisfaction and program participation over time and encompass the whole home.

Ecova has teamed with Aclara®, a leader in utility consumer engagement, to provide our utility clients and their consumers with more insight, enhanced consumer analytics, and more cost-effective savings.

Aclara provides utilities with value-added software solutions that unlock the power of AMI systems, including its Consumer Engagement Portal, which delivers benefits to consumers in the form of awareness and approaches to savings.



Working with utility clients, Ecova and Aclara gather each consumer’s real energy usage data. Using industry-leading software to perform robust analysis on home energy consumption data,

Ecova creates a detailed energy use profile for each consumer, demonstrating household energy use for the previous year, how usage of energy compares to similar homes, and identifying the largest sources of energy consumption.

All the data is presented to the consumer in a clean, easy-to-read format and is delivered by an in-home consultant or mailed with an efficiency kit. Ecova then works directly with program participants to lower energy usage.

  • When representatives visit homes, they review reports with homeowners, install efficiency measures, conduct energy assessments, and explain the savings from the products installed and the potential savings if homeowners participate in additional energy efficiency programs.
  • Reports can also be sent in conjunction with efficiency kits to provide homeowners immediate savings through products and suggestions for behavioral changes, and identify paths toward additional energy management. The kits enable Ecova to more cost-effectively connect with more customers in less time.
  • Ecova can take actual data from home audits via hand-held devices and feed it back to Aclara’s Consumer Engagement Portal, ensuring consumers can continue to focus on energy savings after Ecova’s work is complete.
  • Ecova then uses the information gathered before and during the visit to conduct a comprehensive follow-up marketing campaign and sign customers up for additional
    efficiency programs.



Solutions for Energy Efficient Logistics (SEEL) was launched as a partnership between Ecova and Motor City International (MCI).

In July of 2010, SEEL was hired to implement a pilot project for a large Midwest utility, the benefits of which would be two-fold

  1. Target customer areas that had lower efficiency program participation levels and a history of low customer satisfaction ratings to improve both.
  2. Reach more customers about its efficiency program portfolio. SEEL concentrated on a robust community outreach effort and highly trained installation crews on the ground to directly interact with homeowners, providing immediate savings via direct installation of basic measures and a walk-through assessment to identify area with high savings potential.

Within one month the program had visited 500 homes, and over the next year the pilot was extended two more times. The customer response – and cost effective energy savings – was so positive that the utility hired SEEL in 2011 to increase the scale and broaden the program to provide the additional insights from a Home Energy Consultation (HEC) report and additional marketing. SEEL is now targeting 30,000 of the utility’s customers each year, who will receive an in-home consultation to review the report and assessment. Each customer will then receive follow-up communication to help drive additional participation in residential programs, utilizing Ecova’s nationally recognized marketing team to develop best practice campaigns.

Over the 12-month pilot project, SEEL – on behalf of the utility – visited 25,266 properties and delivered 25,692 gross MWh and 152,687 gross MCF of energy savings.

The HEC program launched in July 2011 and within the first six months, SEEL had already conducted visits to 15,697 homes and delivered approximately 12,683 gross MWh of energy savings to the utility.

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