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KEEA Energy Hero: Ecova

Utilities across the country are balancing customers' growing energy needs with energy efficiency and demand response programs as a resource to reduce energy consumption and demand. Ecova assists utilities in creating impactful residential and commercial & industrial programs that increase customer satisfaction while providing utilities with verifiable savings that allow them to meet their goals and manage regulatory, reputational and operational risks.

Pennsylvania utilities – including PECO, PPL Electric Utilities and Duquesne Light – work with Ecova to implement residential efficiency programs to achieve compliance with Act 129, the state’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Plan. Act 129 requires state electric utilities to reduce energy use by one percent by May 31, 2011, three percent by May 31, 2013, and reduce energy demand during the 100 highest demand hours of the year by four and a half percent by May 31, 2013.

Ecova’s programs and marketing teams work in collaboration with these utilities to develop fruitful relationships with area retailers and their suppliers – from small independent hardware stores in rural areas to major home improvement retailers – to implement year-round promotions that help customers instantly save on the cost of purchasing energy-efficient lighting and products. Ecova’s dedicated field staff works with the utilities to hosts retail events and community activities to provide meaningful interactions with utility customers. These interactions – which encompass everything from large sporting events to small community fairs – not only educate customers on the benefits of choosing energy efficient products, but promote the utilities as sponsors of the product incentives which in turn further strengthen the utility-customer relationship. Ecova also promotes awareness of mercury and recycling through its lighting programs, recruiting independent retailers to participate as recycling centers to collect CFL bulbs for free recycling (Ecova also promotes Lowe’s and The Home Depot as nationwide CFL recycling outlets). This holistic approach to supporting retail partners and customers is the cause for Ecova’s success across Pennsylvania.

All three residential lighting programs marked milestones of 2 million bulbs or more sold or given away through direct distribution events within two years of program implementation. Also, the PECO Smart Home Rebates program – which risked ending early because of its popularity in the first year – was redesigned by Ecova and PECO to introduce the all-new ENERGY STAR® Most Efficient 2011 designation for appliances, which represents the nation’s first utility incentives-based program built upon the ENERGY STAR Most Efficient designation. The program was awarded ENERGY STAR’s 2012 Partner of the Year Award for Energy Efficiency Program Design, Qualifying Products.

Since 2009, when Ecova began implementing the first residential efficient products program in Pennsylvania, the programs have collectively procured more than 800,000 MWh in savings for the utilities through the sale and giveaway of more than 15.7 million lighting units and the sale of more than 300,000 efficient appliances and HVAC equipment.

More information about Ecova can be found on their website.

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