- Ameren Illinois has selected Tendril to implement a behavioral energy efficiency and customer engagement platform, the companies announced Tuesday.
- The utility will also work with program administrator Leidos to overhaul home energy reports and offer customers high-usage alerts to help them better control their demand.
- Ameren has shown an increased focus on efficiency recently: last month, Illinois regulators approved the utility's voltage optimization plan aimed at reducing energy consumption and system losses.
Utilities are increasingly turning to energy efficiency to meet system needs, and behavioral-based programs are aimed at nudging consumers to tweak their usage. Tendril says its system uses data analytics on more than 123 million homes to help customers control their demand.
The home energy reports from Tendril will give customers "a detailed view of their individual usage data, comparisons to similar residences, and practical, easy-to-follow tips to save energy," the company said. The reports are delivered via mail and email. The engagement portal includes the data provided in home energy reports and uses "behavioral engagement tactics, including goal setting, social comparisons and active learning," to assist customers.
Tendril says customers who receive its alerts tend to save an additional 5.7% on their energy bill the month it is received — in addition to what home energy report recipients achieve.
Tendril's system "allows us to maximize cost effectiveness and give customers what they want: energy and cost savings,” Deb Perry, energy efficiency manager at Ameren Illinois, said in a statement.
Ameren has 1.2 million electric customers in Illinois. Regulators' decision last month to approve the voltage optimization program was cheered by several consumer advocates, which had pressed for assurances that Ameren would prioritize its optimization efforts in low-income communities to reduce monthly bills.
Approval of that program by the Illinois Commerce Commission followed an agreement reached among several parties, including the utility, Environmental Defense Fund, the Citizens Utility Board, Natural Resource Defense Council and commission staff.
Illinois continues to implement the 2016 Future Energy Jobs Act, which provided support for the state's nuclear plants, expanded its energy efficiency programs and made changes to its renewable portfolio standard.