Sociodemograpics and Sustainability: Value Propositions in DSM Programs
Demand Side Management (DSM) programs provide utilities with established pathways to engage customers through a variety of value propositions to reduce energy costs and positively contribute to environmental sustainability. As DSM programs mature, existing measures and new offers must be tailored to specific groups with historically low participation and/or barriers to program delivery. In addition, these sustainability interventions must also be responsive to changing demographic trends by honing nuanced approaches to customer engagement based upon the type of communities and groups being targeted. Applying a sociodemographic lens can help DSM programs better understand how to target different groups and thus address a critical knowledge gap in unlocking future energy savings.
On October 19, Alex Novie, Consultant, DNV GL – Energy, Sustainable Use Services, presented on sociodemographics and sustainability value propositions in DSM programs at the 2015 ACEEE Behavioral Energy and Climate Change (BECC) Conference in Sacramento, CA. Reviewing demographic shifts and community-level level participation trends in commercial energy efficiency programs, the presentation provides examples of how to triangulate data sources and apply the sociodemographic lens to identify opportunities in small-to-medium sized businesses in historically “hard-to-reach” communities. It also highlights how new policy drivers, including the Clean Energy Investment Program of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, that demand a deeper understanding of how sustainability opportunities and value propositions efficiency resonate across sociodemographic groups. The presentation and analysis is real time and a must read for EE/DSM program managers and policy makers who serve diverse communities and are challenged to continue to reach ambitious DSM program goals and increase customer satisfaction.