Information and technology are keys to residential energy efficiency efforts, study finds

ATLANTA, Sept. 24, 2002 — Utilities offering residential energy management — either out of necessity or as a value-added customer service — have a variety of options at their disposal, from the ho-hum compact fluorescent light bulb to the next wave of “smart appliances” and home automation.

Chartwell’s latest report, “Residential Energy Management and Energy Efficiency,” describes the wide variety of strategies available, provides commentary on the relative success of these efforts with customers, and gives insight into which utilities are undertaking these efforts and why, as well as which are planning or considering such efforts.

The utility data is based on a 2002 survey of 50 energy companies regarding their ancillary products and services aimed at residential customers.

The most common way for utilities to help their residential customers manage energy use is by providing information, such as the last 12 months’ usage, or home energy audits, according to “Residential Energy Management and Energy Efficiency.”

Surprisingly, only 20% of the utilities in the survey offer energy-saving devices for sale, despite the increasing popularity of items like compact fluorescent light bulbs and programmable thermostats at home improvement stores. This may be an ancillary market poised for growth within the energy industry.

In addition to data and analysis, the 65-page Chartwell report includes a variety of detailed utility case studies, including one on a utility that has a successful online audit that it’s attempting to sell to other utilities, and another about a deregulated energy company with a goal of being No. 1 in energy efficiency in the consumer’s mind. Other case studies cover water heater control, energy efficient homes and the use of variable rates.

“Residential Energy Management and Energy Efficiency,” which is available from Chartwell, is part of The Chartwell New Products and Services Research Series, an ongoing information service that provides utility case studies; topical analysis and research centered around specific products or services in the utility and energy services marketplace; and a database of 70 utilities and the products and services they offer.

For more information about the ongoing Research Series, the Report on “Residential Energy Management and Energy Efficiency,” or the products/services database, please call Juli Collins at (800) 432-5879, or (404) 237-9099.

Source: Chartwell Inc.

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