Unlocking Effective DSM Trade Ally Engagement: Streamlining Communication, Reducing Cost, and Driving Energy Savings

Feb 6, 2014

How do you measure the effectiveness of your trade ally strategy?  Do you invest in expanding the number of allies in your network or increasing the level of activity within your existing network? How do you ensure that trade allies are upholding your commitment to customer satisfaction? As utility DSM program and portfolio managers face the dual challenges of increased savings goals and reduced administrative budgets, they increasingly look to trade allies for assistance. The results are often mixed as they grapple with the work of recruiting and managing a diverse set of service providers with motivations often different from the utility itself.

Best practice approaches for DSM trade ally engagement can be achieved by understanding the strengths of the allies in your specific networks, developing effective engagement strategies to raise the capabilities of all allies, and leveraging purpose-built software to demonstrate key metrics of the network’s performance and help streamline trade ally engagement. This combination enables utilities to reduce program administrative costs, drive trade ally and customer participation, gain visibility into the savings pipeline, and reinforce customer service initiatives.

For utility program managers, an effective trade ally network is essential to cost-effective energy acquisition and program reach. Through a well-functioning trade ally network and enabling software systems, utility managers can close the energy savings loop – tying utility customers to trade allies and trade allies to DSM program operations and management. In order to ensure this happens, managers need to be able to effectively recruit, engage, and manage contractors and vendors to fully participate in DSM programs, thereby helping to meet compliance, customer service, and energy savings goals.

Now is the time for utilities to put in place cost- effective and efficient trade ally engagement and management in order to address the challenges of increased savings goals and reduced administrative budgets – to close the energy savings loop.

We will be sharing more on this key topic for effective DSM program management and market engagement in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.