The Conservation Fund provides financial support for innovative electricity conservation technologies, practices, research, and programs that will help Ontario reach its long-term energy conservation goals.
Cutting edge energy mapping improves conservation marketing
Horizon first participated in a 2010 pilot project measuring energy density in the City of Hamilton
Horizon Utilities discovered the benefits of a new technology tool to improve conservation marketing
Programs intended to help consumers save electricity and reduce their energy bills should be an easy sell - saving electricity is good for the environment and saves money. Yet encouraging their use with classic marketing strategies like direct mail often don't work as well as anticipated.
About the Project
In 2011, Horizon Utilities applied to the Conservation Fund for support to develop an energy-density mapping tool. It would use geographic information system (GIS) technology to map consumer electricity density to locate where people are using the most electricity. Then, by tying the GIS data into other metrics, help the utility figure out why they are using so much.
For more than a year Horizon worked with the GIS provider – the Canadian Urban Institute – and a variety of partners to build layers of useful data, including energy density per building floor, neighbourhood demographics, and the purpose of the electricity used (for air conditioning, for example).
By understanding their market better, Horizon can now save a significant amount of time and money by more carefully targeting marketing efforts, and significantly boost participation in energy conservation programs.
For example, to notify consumers of the peaksaver PLUS® program in the past, Horizon might have sent out approximately 90,000 brochures to customers estimated to have central air conditioning. Today the utility can send 30,000 or so to those they know have these systems and would most likely be interested in the incentive, but have not yet taken advantage of it.
In addition, in March 2013, Horizon’s mapping tool won the provincial Electricity Distributors Association’s Environmental Excellence Award.