What if innovation could help you deliver a better efficiency program?
The energy efficiency landscape continues to rapidly change as opportunities shrink and goals become more aggressive. APTIM, the administrator of Wisconsin’s successful Focus on Energy program, needed to infuse innovation into its efficiency portfolio, ensuring it meets changing goals.
VEIC partnered with APTIM to provide analytics, assessment, and to establish innovative pilot programs, informing new strategies and investments to evolve the portfolio for future success. Services: Energy Efficiency
In 2019, VEIC advanced new midstream solutions and a behavior pilot, in addition to identifying opportunities to optimize residential and business efficiency programs. Collectively, in partnership with APTIM and program implementers, Focus on Energy met 2019 kWh, therms, and MMBtu savings goals and had a strong start to 2020.
The cost of successEnergy efficiency programs throughout the U.S. have successfully harvested the low-hanging fruit, modernizing inefficient heating, cooling, and lighting systems. The results have been tremendous, as traditional efficiency programs have yielded very high rates of energy savings. But this success comes with a cost. As the benefits of energy efficiency programs become well-known, real and impactful innovation becomes harder to achieve and new technologies/solutions merit further exploration. Less expensive efficient products and gradually increasing federal lighting and efficiency standards have converged with more progressive building codes and ever-increasing energy savings goals. These factors challenge the way that we define success with conventional efficiency tactics, and despite all the work that still needs to be done, the status quo of traditional energy efficiency programs may soon be insufficient to address future needs. In the face of these headwinds, APTIM, the administrator of Wisconsin’s energy efficiency program — Focus on Energy —partnered with VEIC to infuse innovation into the state’s energy efficiency portfolio, ensuring it anticipates the needs of tomorrow. Known for piloting new approaches — and developing data-driven strategies and analytics needed to support and validate them — VEIC is a proven leader in energy efficiency innovation. That’s why we were selected to team up on an already-successful program in Wisconsin, alongside a partner that was not satisfied with the status quo.
“Our partnership with VEIC has allowed us to grow the Focus on Energy programs that help Wisconsin residents and businesses reduce their energy use and save money on their utility bills. Their experience with emerging technology has helped us take our energy efficiency programs to the next level with a focus on sustainable energy innovation. ”
The future of efficiencyRiding a wave of success, APTIM has delivered more than $1 billion in economic benefits to Wisconsin since 2011. Independent evaluation estimates that every dollar invested in Focus on Energy has generated $4.32-worth of benefits to the state. At the time when APTIM partnered with VEIC, Focus on Energy had been (and still is) a home run by all accounts, with participant satisfaction rating 9/10, the highest in its history. The program serves the vast majority of utility customers in the state (107 utilities), offering solutions for every type of customer while simultaneously addressing utility needs. VEIC was called in not to save a troubled efficiency program, but to forge ahead, beyond the known pathways of energy savings. Acting as Market Trends & Analytics lead for Focus on Energy, VEIC provides analytics, portfolio assessment, and pilot program support. In this role, we inform new strategies and investments that help the program evolve to meet the demands of changing market conditions. In its letter selecting the APTIM and VEIC team, Wisconsin’s Statewide Energy Efficiency and Renewables Administration (SEERA) cited the “added depth and breadth with the addition of VEIC’s expertise on behavioral and emerging technology.” SEERA also highlighted the team’s, “comprehensive vision for Focus in the next quadrennium, including greater attention to the changing utility landscape and a better customer experience.”
VEIC coordinated the launch of a Rural Behavior Community Engagement Pilot in 2019 and has already laid the groundwork for strategies that will bring new programs, products, and services to the market through 2022.