Sacramento Municipal Utility District and GridX Inc. will partner to roll out a new bill scenario analysis tool that will allow SMUD’s customer service representatives to help customers learn more about how the transition to time-of-day rates will impact their bills.
GridX is a provider of big data billing and billing quality analytics solutions for energy companies using smart grid infrastructure. Its advanced technology enables utilities to design, promote and operationalize new energy products and programs.
Under a traditional tiered rate system, bills are calculated based on the volume of energy customers use. Under time-of-day rates, when customers use energy will be just as important as how much they use.
After SMUD transitions all of its customers to time-of-day plans by the end of 2019, about 44 percent of customers will pay less over the course of a year than they do under the current system, even if they make no changes to their energy use. About 49 percent of customers will pay about $2 more per month on average under the new plan, and about 8 percent will pay about $6.80 more per month. If these customers make adjustments to when they use energy, they may be able to reduce their bills and save money on a time-of-day plan.
The new bill scenario analysis tool will allow a SMUD CSR to accurately calculate a specific customer’s bills on a new rate. It will also allow the CSR to discuss various energy use scenarios with the customer and calculate how their bills will be impacted by shifting energy use to different time periods, adding or removing programs, deploying rooftop solar, adding an electric vehicle or possibly switching to SMUD’s fixed rate option. The bill scenarios are personalized to each customer and calculated in real time while customers are on the phone.
“As we transition our customers to time-of-day rates, we want to help them learn as much as possible about how their bill may be impacted and what they can do to control their energy costs,” said Nicole Howard, SMUD’s chief customer officer. “By working with GridX, we’ll be able to roll out an accurate, responsive tool that will allow us to provide specific numbers to our customers so they can make informed choices.”
“Transitioning an entire customer population to TOD rates is a significant undertaking,” said Jian Zhang, CEO of GridX. “SMUD clearly recognizes the needs for, and benefits of, a real-time billing scenario analysis tool to help customers make more informed decisions about their rates and energy use. We are thrilled to partner with SMUD, a long-recognized industry leader in customer service, to deploy this solution and, ultimately, develop best practices supporting the transition to TOD rates.”