ATLANTA, APRIL 22, 2005 — Apogee Interactive, Inc. announced the release of a first-of-its-kind Commercial Suite of online, self-service applications designed to help utilities reach their business customers. Apogee collaborated with a team of eight utilities across the country to design the online tool which makes energy information and energy use calculators available to customers through the utilities’ websites.
Small businesses represent a key customer segment for most energy companies but are often too small individually to have assigned account representatives. In addition, most do not have energy professionals on staff to advise them on energy decisions even though their specialized equipment and tight operating budgets can make them extremely sensitive to any volatility in power quality or price.
The Commercial Suite is an integrated application that seamlessly links a comprehensive Energy Information Library with a simple-to-use, energy use and savings Calculator. Within seconds and a few “mouse clicks,” customers get situation-specific answers to their energy questions – from insulation and thermostat settings to operating schedules and equipment comparisons. The customer can then link to a sophisticated billing analysis engine that draws upon historical weather data, meter read dates and actual usage information to produce an accurate graphical presentation of where and when energy is being used in their facility.
The utility can easily update or change building alternatives and attributes with an administrative interface. “We can add facility types, change any of the assumptions or modify rates whenever we see the need,” said Wayne Glover from GreyStone Power Corporation, one of the lead collaborators on the project design. “This allows us to make the results surprisingly accurate for our customers.”
“While the Calculators are impressive, we believe the online Reference Library is the most valuable part of the Suite,” says David Ward, LG&E National Account Executive and another of the project’s designers. “It’s packed with practical, everyday ideas business customers can use to reduce bills increase or increase comfort. And they can peruse it at their convenience. It’s like having a utility representative available 24/7, whenever you have a question or need some advice.”
The Suite also features a Vendor Locator, a vendor-maintained application linking customers in need of assistance with those offering that service. Vendors are responsible for entering and maintaining their own information. All changes go to a utility administrator for approval prior to public posting.
“This is a customer segment that has real issues and questions about their energy use. The Commercial Suite provides a means of quick and accurate assistance,” said Susan Gilbert, Apogee president. “We’ve launched the applications for our first group of collaborating utilities, and the entire Suite is now available for other utilities looking to enable self-service for their business customers.”
Contributors to the design phase of this collaborative initiative included LG&E, KU, LCEC (formerly Lee County Electric Cooperative), GreyStone Power Corporation, Coast EPA, CoServ, OG&E, and the San Diego Regional Energy Office.
About APOGEE Interactive, Inc. [ www.apogee.net ]
Apogee Interactive Inc. is a leading provider of online solutions for the energy industry. For more than a decade, the firm has consistently created innovative online tools to enable better communication between utilities and their customers. Serving more than 200 utilities nationwide, Apogee’s Web-based content and intelligent software tools reach millions of electricity consumers daily.
The company also provides eLearning systems, call center programs and load management platforms to utilities and their trade associations throughout North America and New Zealand.