5 Types of Operational & Behavioral Energy Efficiency Programs Every Utility Should Know About

Jenny Zhao

As the market for commercial energy efficiency programs matures, utilities across North America are investing in deeper and more comprehensive methods of maximizing energy savings for their business customers. Operational and behavioral based savings — which account for 30-50 percent of the total savings potential in commercial buildings — represent one of the most significant growth areas.

But engaging commercial customers requires a sophisticated understanding of their diverse needs. Large customers use 100x more energy than small businesses, and both groups span dozens of verticals and business segments. Bringing the right set of operational and behavioral solutions to these customers requires programs that are built for the needs of each segment – and more importantly, drives the action required to accomplish their savings objectives.

Even among industry leaders, you’ll find a wide range of differing information about the definition and function of various behavioral and operational programs. The below infographic identifies the most frequently seen offerings in the market today, their respective level of maturity and complexity, and the customer segments each program is best suited for.

Whether it’s optimizing building controls or steering business practice changes, operational and behavioral-based energy efficiency programs targeting the C&I sector require a diverse suite of services reflecting the unique characteristics and needs of each customer group. Energy analytics can support customer segmentation and engagement strategies across all these programs, enabling utilities to scale customer savings and participation across hundreds of thousands of businesses. By combining these approaches with integrated demand-side management solutions, energy providers are poised to accelerate energy efficiency adoption at a high volume, while holistically improving each customer’s energy use.

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