Retail Supplier Offering Gamification Under Good User Rewards Load Shaping Pilot
February 18, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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An Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification plan filed with the Maryland PSC has provided more details concerning Constellation's approved retail customer load shaping pilot approved by the PSC
The Evaluation, Measurement, and Verification plan states that under Constellation's "Good User Rewards" pilot, the electricity supply rate for enrollees will be set equal to the BGE residential standard-offer-service rate. In five summer months (May through September), the five hour period between 3PM and 8PM on all days of the week, including weekends and holidays, will be designated 'conservation hours'. In the remaining months (January through April and October through December, again covering all days of the week), there will be six conservation hours: (1) from 7AM to 10AM; and (2) from 5PM to 8PM.
In every month, pilot participants whose conservation period usage is less than 23% of their total usage for the month will earn a monthly reward of $15, which can be redeemed through the Constellation digital storefront for energy efficiency products or gift cards. Over the course of the 12-month pilot, participants can earn rewards worth up to $180. Pilot participants will face no downside risk, relative to their current standard-offer-service rate.
In both seasons, Constellation estimates that the average residential customer consumes 28% of their total usage during the conservation hours.
Enrolled participants will have the option (but will not be required) to purchase discounted Wi-Fi enabled programmable thermostats currently sold through the BGE Marketplace, in order to support customers’ ability to shift load and earn the pilot rewards. Regular communications to pilot participants will also be used to encourage load-shifting behavior. These weekly e-mails will summarize usage, including the share of usage that occurred during conservation periods. The e-mails will also contain hourly usage profiles to provide customers with additional detail and will also contain energy savings tips.
There will also be a 'gamification' aspect to the pilot; the e-mail will also contain a leaderboard highlighting leading pilot participants, to further incentivize load-shifting behavior
Eligible pilot participants are current BGE customers who are currently on standard-offer-service; are in owner-occupied residences; and who have been at the same residence and on the same rate class for at least 12 months prior to the beginning of the pilot.
The Constellation pilot has set a target sample size of 1,000 pilot participants
According to the EM&V plan, recruitment of pilot enrollees will involve marketing on BGE’s website and customer portal, and if needed, mailing bill inserts to eligible BGE customers, informing them of the program. Interested eligible customers will opt in to the pilot through online or call center enrollment.
The plan notes that the pilot design will, through the subsequent EM&V, allow two hypotheses to be tested:
1. Will pilot participants, incentivized by a simple target-based reward and facilitated with regular communications, reduce their load during the conservation periods relative to existing and comparable Constellation customers?
2. Will pilot participants, incentivized by a simple target-based reward and facilitated with regular communications, reduce their load during the conservation periods relative to comparable BGE SOS customers?
As previously reported, concerning treatment of customers at the end of the pilot, the PSC had directed that, "At the close of the pilot, Constellation must acquire affirmative consent to retain the pilot customers. If Constellation does not acquire a customer’s consent to one of its range of other residential products or services, the customer should be returned to SOS."