MyUsage Monitoring: Features and Benefits
Exceleron Software’s MyUsage® is the leading prepay account management solution for the utility industry. The MyUsage suite of applications empower consumers to take control of their energy usage and budgeting. MyUsage Monitoring, a value-added feature of MyUsage, lets utilities use that same technology to allow all their customers to view their daily energy consumption, regardless of whether they’ve opted into the prepay program.
Features of MyUsage Monitoring
MyUsage Monitoring is a hosted, web-based platform that allows consumers with traditional billing (that is, consumers who have not opted into the utility’s prepay program) to view their daily energy consumption within a user-friendly web interface: www.MyUsage.com. The image below presents the dashboard summary that consumers see when entering the site.
After logging into the password-protected site, consumers can view a graphical representation of their energy use for the past 30 days, plotted with the average high and low temperatures for each day. The dashboard also displays their average energy use, the most recent meter reading, and a list of the alerts that have been sent via email. Additional tabs allow consumers to navigate to full historical information regarding energy usage and alerts, dating back to when the Usage Monitor account was created.
Accountholders can choose to receive free alerts via email. Two types of alerts are available: a Daily Usage alert, which states how much energy the consumer has used in the past 24 hours, and a High Usage alert, which notifies the consumer that energy usage in the past 24 hours has exceeded a threshold that was previously set by the consumer. For example, a consumer who typically uses between 20 and 40 kWh per day could set the threshold at 40 kWh, which would cause Usage Monitor to automatically generate a High Usage alert via email if the consumer’s daily consumption exceeded that amount.
MyUsage Monitoring account creation is simple and straightforward. Once a utility has activated the feature, consumers can create their own Usage Monitor account online without assistance from the utility. Users provide their name, zip code, account number, and the email address where they would like to receive alerts. The utility’s AMI and CIS systems automatically populate the account with the meter number.
Benefits of MyUsage Monitoring
Usage Monitor offers significant benefits to utility service providers in terms of reduced demands on customer service representatives, greater customer satisfaction, and greater energy conservation.
REDUCE DEMANDS ON CUSTOMER SERVICE
GREATER CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
GREATER ENERGY CONSERVATION
Reduced Demands on Customer Service Representatives
Utilities that have made Usage Monitor available to their customers have found that the software reduces demand on customer service representatives. As noted above, consumers can create the Usage Monitor account on their own, without assistance from utility staff members. Once the account has been created, customers can find answers to many of their inquiries on their own, without calling the utility. For example, the Usage Monitor accounts help customers understand how their energy usage varies with the average daily temperature, so customer service representatives receive fewer calls from frustrated customers demanding an explanation for high energy bills during the warmest and coldest months of the year.
With Usage Monitor, consumption-based inquiries and high bill complaints are almost eliminated, because customers with Usage Monitor accounts are able to view detailed account information quickly and easily, at their convenience. The High Usage alerts make consumers aware of any problems (such as malfunctioning devices that cause a spike in energy usage) almost immediately and empower them to address those problems proactively, rather than being surprised by a high monthly bill.
Greater Customer Satisfaction
Experience has shown that customer satisfaction increases when accountholders have easy access to detailed account information. Utility customers regularly report that having access to MyUsage.com has helped them better understand their energy consumption and reduce their energy expenses.
When utilities embrace Usage Monitor as tool for better educating consumers about their energy consumption, everyone benefits. Utilities that promote Usage Monitor as a free, optional service for customers are viewed as being responsive to customers’ needs. Many utilities reap these benefits by promoting the Usage Monitor program through newsletters, websites, bill stuffers, and even brochures specific to the program.
Greater Energy Conservation
A recent study by the DEFG Prepay Energy Working Group found that enrollment in a prepay program results in an average reduction in energy usage of 11%. When consumers have direct access to detailed information about their daily energy consumption, they are empowered to adjust their behavior accordingly. Many studies suggest that users of the Usage Monitoring platform realize the same savings in terms of reduced consumption of about 11%, even without opting into the prepay program.
While consumers are typically motivated to reduce their energy usage by the potential to decrease their energy expenses, utilities reap the benefits in terms of greater energy conservation. In some states, implementation of Usage Monitor may contribute to eligibility for green energy tax credits and be an important component of utilities’ energy efficiency programs.
Usage Monitor is a value-added component of the MyUsage Prepay platform and is available at no additional cost to all utilities currently using MyUsage to manage their prepay programs. For more information about Exceleron’s MyUsage, visit www.exceleron.com.