U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

Keep the program simple for your customers

Given all of the other things that compete for your audience’s attention, it is critical that program participation steps are straightforward and easy to understand.  Many programs have found that complexity makes it harder for interested homeowners to complete upgrade projects. These programs have focused on streamlining services, requiring as few steps as possible for customers, and keeping the message about the upgrade process simple.

  • Enhabit, formerly Clean Energy Works Oregon, provided a “One-Stop Shop” Home Energy Remodel process to guide customers through a four-step process: apply, assess, finance, and transform. This simple process gave customers access to a comprehensive package of services that included low-interest financing and rebates, free energy assessments, assistance from an independent energy advisor, and the option to repay monthly loan obligations through their heating utility bills. To keep the process simple for customers and, in the process, improve program administration efficiency, Enhabit focused on process automation through its internal project tracking system.
  • The EnergySmart program in Boulder County, Colorado, found that having an energy advisor assigned to each program participant throughout the home upgrade process was a key to keeping the program simple for customers and for overall program success. Energy advisors offered easily accessible subject-matter expertise, project management support, and encouragement to help customers make decisions and complete their upgrades. They installed low-cost energy savings measures and helped homeowners review assessment reports, determine which home improvements to pursue, select contractors, and apply for rebates and financial incentives. EnergySmart enjoyed a robust conversion ratio; nearly 70 percent of enrolled homeowners completed a home energy upgrade. For more on energy advisors, see Energy Advisors: Improving Customer Experience and Efficiency Program Outcomes.
  • Recognizing that many different types of energy efficiency financing and rebates were available to its customers—but that it could be overwhelming to sort through them all— RePower Bainbridge helped customers access aggregated information by creating a consumer-friendly guide to all utility and non-utility incentives in its service area. The local utility benefited from the guide as well—it made the guide available to all of its customers.
See all tips from these handbooks:

Design a residential energy efficiency program that integrates marketing and outreach, contractor coordination, incentives, financing, and program evaluation to provide customers with the products and services they want through a customer-centric process.

Solidify your program strategy and decide which customers you will focus on; what products, services, and support you will provide; and how you will partner with contractors and others to deliver services to your customers.

Develop a detailed plan for launching and operating your program that integrates all program components into a process that is customer-friendly and efficient for contractors and other partners.

Ensure a positive customer experience with your program from launch through implementation over time.

Improve your program’s efficiency and effectiveness through regular information collection, assessment, decision-making, adaptation, and communication.