FirstFuel Software: E.ON UK Energy Toolkit for SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) Customers | FirstFuel Software
“This application could be very useful in many cities/counties/provinces for small and medium sized businesses that do not have the capacity to hire energy managers to manage day to day energy consumption. This is definitely a ‘thinking out of the box’ model to help small business.”
--Energy Manager Today Awards judge
One of the UK’s largest utilities, E.ON, kept hearing from small business customers that they wanted help in lowering their energy consumption. In response, E.ON UK partnered with FirstFuel Software to deploy its Energy Toolkit for free to over 400,000 SME (Small and Medium Enterprise) customers. The Toolkit uses customers’ own meter data to give them insights into their energy use at a level previously only available to industrial or larger commercial businesses. The toolkit combines web-based advice on energy efficiency measures, personalized by each customer’s business and meter data, with a phone-based energy saving advice line staffed by engineers. Just a few months into the program, SME customers have already reported using the Toolkit to save hundreds of pounds from their energy bills.
E.ON UK developed and implemented the Energy Toolkit in partnership with FirstFuel. E.ON used FirstFuel’s energy customer intelligence platform to process the usage data for all commercial customers and produce ongoing insights into each customer’s energy use. The data was then integrated into an easy to understand interface on E.ON’s customer web portal. The solution was trialed by thousands of E.ON customers, from restaurants and petrol stations to hairdressers and hotels, who provided feedback. Following incorporation of the feedback, the Toolkit was rolled out to the rest of E.ON’s customers this past summer.
Unlike many US states, the UK does not require its utilities to meet commercial EE targets or goals for business customers. Thus, this project’s energy management goals are different from either a single facility, portfolio manager or large US utility. Instead, E.ON’s goal was for its customers to be able to save at least 5 percent on their bills. The Energy Toolkit is available to all of E.ON’s over 400,000 customers, and preliminary analysis shows that the Toolkit presents customers with an average 15 percent in savings opportunities, with about half of the opportunities coming from operational (low or no-cost) changes. Already, over 40 percent of users are using the toolkit and have visited the dashboard more than once, with more than 10 percent indicating interest in their recommended energy savings measures. Individual case studies have shown substantial savings – for example, a grocery owner who has already saved over €600/month.
E.ON and FirstFuel have launched one of the largest UK energy saving projects in the commercial energy space. Without the use of incentives or mandates, the partners have developed a market-based way of spurring EE adoption en masse in what has historically been a hard to reach segment: SME customers.